The Olympic women’s triathlon didn’t quite go the way the two New Zealand competitors had hoped today.
Nicole van der Kaay finished 29th of the 54 who started the race and her team-mate, Ainsley Thorpe, withdrew early on the bike leg after taking a bad tumble.
The start of the race was delayed by heavy rain which left the cycle course treacherous.
The race was won by popular Flora Duffy, a born and bred Bermudian, who finished full of running in 1h 55min 36s. She had 1min 14s on silver medallist Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain, who was forced to finish the bike leg on a punctured tyre and had to put in considerable effort to regain contact with the lead runners.
Van der Kaay emerged from the water in 23rd position and held that spot through the bike leg. She was eighth fastest on the 10km run, but was picked up by a few fast finishers and her overall position slipped slightly.
The Taupo athlete said the wet and slippery road reminded her of New Zealand conditions and made for a hard day of racing.
“I’m pretty buggered. It was a hard day out there,’’ she said after the race. “I gave it all I had, so I have to be happy with that. I hoped for more but, that was all I could do today.’’
Thorpe had a reasonable swim and emerged from the water in 15th place. She was just getting into her work on the bike leg when she had her unfortunate accident.
The slippery road conditions contributed to several crashes – there were 20 withdrawals during the race, most during the bike leg.Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Ainsley Thorpe Nicole van der Kaay Triathlon