Nicole van der Kaay produced a fine performance in the biggest race of her life to finish seventh in the Commonwealth Games women’s triathlon today.
The 22-year-old was the first New Zealander home. Her time of 58min 31s meant she crossed the line 1min 41s behind the runaway winner, Fiona Duffy of Bermuda. Englishwoman Jessica Learmonth and Canadian Joanna Brown were second and third.
Van der Kaay was seventh after the swim leg and got herself into fifth position by the end of the bike leg, before dropping a couple of places in the 5km run.
“I’m pleased with myself,” van der Kaay said. “The swim was rough so I was very happy to come through. I held on as long as I could, but the top guys had extra gears in their legs. I did the best I could, so I’m happy.”
Rebecca Spence was the next New Zealander across the line. She finished 10th in 59min 12s, after emerging from the water sixth.
Andrea Hewitt, the veteran of the team and a former world champion, was below her best. The 36-year-old, who won a medal way back in Melbourne in 2006, struggled on the swim, emerging from the water in 15th position and was unable to make any significant impact after that, eventually finishing 13th in 1h 00.48s.
“I’m really disappointed,” Hewitt said. “My swim wasn’t up there and I let myself get pushed around. I got isolated on the bike and had to do a lot of work.”Melbourne 2006 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Nicole van der Kaay Andrea Hewitt Rebecca Spence Triathlon