Tokyo Olympic silver medalist triathlete Alex Yee overcame a 16-seconds deficit to leader Hayden Wilde of New Zealand with a sizzling 5-kilometer run split to take the first gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The men’s race seemed set for a closer finish until race officials intervened. Yee and Wilde were battling side by side when Wilde was told he sustained a 10-seconds penalty incurred for unclipping his helmet early during the transition between the bike and run disciplines. Current World number one Wilde congratulated Yee before stepping aside, allowing the Englishman to cross the line alone.
Yee finished with a race-best 14:31 run split – 28 seconds faster than Wilde – and crossed the finish line of the sprint distance triathlon in 50:34 with a 13 seconds margin over Wilde.
Wilde had enough time to take his penalty and still win silver ahead of Australia's Matt Hauser. Wilde described the penalty as "debatable" and suggested his team might lodge a protest, but was quick to credit Yee, saying he was "chuffed" for the 24-year-old.
Matthew Hauser of Australia was coming on strong with a second-fastest 14:46 run split but could only manage 3rd place - 3 seconds shy of Wilde and 16 seconds shy of Yee’s winning time.
"I am just happy,” Yee told BBC Sport. "I feel extremely grateful and proud to be a triathlete. It's an amazing day for triathlon and I feel super proud to be the winner of this event."
“So many emotions through that race,” Yee told World Triathlon media. “The swim was solid but then I see Hayden up the road and just wanted to stay calm. I’ve run on this course hundreds of times so the loop felt familiar, and I’m just proud to pull it together for England. This race is honest and hard and I didn’t want to blow up my legs on the bike. With those hills, 15 seconds felt like nothing, Hayden was just dangling there in front of me. I’m sorry Hayden got his penalty but to have that finish moment is just really special. I looked at the penalty bored and saw his number. That’s racing, there’ll be plenty more battles along the way.”
Reigning Olympic gold medalist Flora Duffy of Bermuda issued a dominating 16:32 5-kilometer run to defend her Commonwealth Games triathlon gold by 41 seconds over current Olympic silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown of Great Britain.
In the women's event, the two favorites, defending champion Duffy and Taylor-Brown were the ones to beat. The duo broke away from the pack midway through the bike leg, and were side by side until the Bermudan stole a few yards on Taylor-Brown in the final transition to take the lead in the run. The two finished in the same positions as Tokyo 2020.
“I was feeling good today, my form has been building all year and I’ve had to be patient and trust I’d be ready for this,” Duffy told World Triathlon media. “I knew it would be super tough to defend the title with Georgia here. The crowd was going crazy and I just tried to soak up the moment. I felt like myself on the run but this is a brutal course and I tried to use the downhills as best I could and remembered Georgia bridging up to me in Abu Dhabi so didn’t want to let up. Racing for Bermuda I’m one of the few medal hopes so I feel that pressure but it’s so cool there are so many countries racing and more than on Gold Coast.”
Duffy, 34, delivered a patient race, overwhelming Beth Potter of Great Britain, England's Sophie Coldwell and Canada's Emy Legault with a surge off the front of the leading bike group. Taylor-Brown found the strength to follow, but gradually faded on the run as Duffy kept the pressure and the pace high.
"I was a bit gutted I couldn't copy Alex Yee and get gold but I am happy with silver," said Taylor-Brown. "The crowd was incredible, it gave me goose bumps. It's special, but I am bored of coming home second to Flora!"44
Commonwealth Games Triathlon
July 29, 2022
S 750m n/ B 20k / R 5 k
1. Alex Yee (GBR) S 8:49 T1 00:50 B 26:07 T2 00:17 R 14:31 TOT 50:34
2. Hayden Wilde (NZL) S 8:38 T1 00:51 B 26:01 T2 00:18 R 14:59 TOT 50:47
3. Matthew Hauser (AUS) S 8:41 T1 00:56 B 26:10 T2 00:17 R 14:46 TOT 50:50
4. Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS) S 8:51 T1 00:49 B 26:08 T2 0:18 R 15:00 TOT 51:06
5. Grant Sheldon (GBR) S 8:41 T1 00:52 B 26:16 T2 00:20 R 15:15 TOT 51:24
6. Jamie Riddle (RSA) S 8:36 T1 00:51 B 26:04 T2 00:18 R 15:43 TOT 51:32
7. Dylan McCullough (NZL) S 8:44 T1 00:51 B 26:15 T2 00:19 R 15:26 TOT 51:35
8. Tayler Reid (NZL) S 8:34 T1 00:57 B 25:59 T2 00:18 R 15:57 TOT 51:45
9. Lestyn Harrett (GBR) S 8:49 T1 00:52 B 26:08 T2 00:21 R 15:41 TOT 51:51
10. Charles Paquet (CAN) S 8:44 T1 00:58 B 26:07 T2 00:22 R 15:47 TOT 51:58
1. Flora Duffy (BER) S 9:22 T1 00:55 B 28:17 T2 00:19 R 16:32 TOT 55:25
2. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) S 9:25 T1 00:56 B 28:14 T2 00:20 R 17:11 TOT 56:06
3. Beth Potter (GBR) S 9:20 T1 00:52 B 29:22 T2 00:19 R 16:53 TOT 56:46
4. Sophie Coldwell (GBR) S 9:26 T1 00:58 B 29:08 T2 00:20 R 17:14 TOT 57:06
5. Sophie Linn (AUS) S 9:37 T1b 00:57 B 29:20 T2 00:24 R 16:50 TOT 57:08
6. Non Stanford (GBR) S 9:32 T1 00:55 B 29:29 T2 00:21 R 16:53 TOT 57:10
7. Olivia Matthias (GBR) S 9:30 T1 00:57 B 29:27 T2 00:20 R 17:05 TOT 57:19
8. Simone Ackermann (RSA) S 9:30 T1 01:00 B 29:27 T2 00:20 R 17:02 TOT 57:19
9. Nicole Van Der Kaay (NZL) S 9:40 T1 01:04 B 29:12 T2 00:20 R 17:08 TOT 57:24
10. Emy Legault (CAN) S 09:30 T1 00:55 S 29:09 T2 00:21 R 17:36 TOT 57:31