Fri, Apr 06, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Duffy wins first gold as Brownlees rue injuries

AFP and Reuters, GOLD COAST, Australia

World champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda yesterday stormed to victory in the women’s triathlon to win the first gold medal of the Commonwealth Games.

Duffy was neck-and-neck with England’s Jessica Learmonth after the bike leg, but she pulled away over the 5km run to finish in 56 minutes, 50 seconds.

Learmonth crossed the line 43 seconds later with Canada’s Joanna Brown third in the sprint distance event, which is half the length of an Olympic course.

In the men’s triathlon, Olympic silver medalist Jonny Brownlee knew as soon as he dived into the water that it was not going to be his day.

Brownlee, who also won the silver medal behind elder brother and two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee at the 2014 Glasgow Games, finished seventh behind South African winner Henri Schoeman.

Alistair Brownlee finished 10th as the brothers, who have been among the top contenders at global championships since 2011, faded badly on the run after they had led out a breakaway pack of six on the cycle leg of the event.

“It was pretty terrible today,” Jonny Brownlee told reporters. “From start to finish I didn’t feel great, I had ups and downs.”

Both brothers had been hampered by injuries heading into the Games and Alistair Brownlee, who carried the English flag during the opening ceremony on Wednesday, said a calf injury had restricted him from doing any serious training.

“I hadn’t done enough to be fit enough on the run,” he said. “I knew it was going to be tough when you haven’t actually run that fast for more than a minute or two at a time and, when you’ve got to do it for 15, it’s not going to go very well for you.”

“I would have preferred my calf to be good two months ago, if it was and I was able to train in that time, I reckon I would have been able to win that race,” he added.

Jonny Brownlee said that he had an issue with his femur, which also restricted the amount of training he could do before the season began.

“I missed a lot of training, but I thought I would do better than this,” he said. “I dived in and felt pretty weak on the swim and ... started riding and I found it really hard to catch up. Then I started running and I thought: ‘Oh dear, I’m in trouble here.’”

“My first thought was: ‘I wish I was fit,’” Jonny Brownlee said. “My body has let me down this year more than Alistair’s.”

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