Wholehearted Butterfield has no complaints
Tyler Butterfield, the Bermuda triathlete, had to settle for nineteenth position after admitting that he missed a great opportunity to achieve a higher finish at the Commonwealth Games yesterday.
Butterfield believed that he had done the work after a stellar swim — his weakest event — but was unable to “tag on the back” of Tom Davidson, of New Zealand, at the start of bike course, scuppering his hopes of placing in the top 15.
He did not have to look too far for positives from his performance, though, particularly from his impressive swim and strong run.
As Butterfield predicted in The Royal Gazette this week, Alistair Brownlee added a Commonwealth gold to his medal collection, with younger sibling Jonathan in second and Richard Murray, of South Africa, in third.
“I was really pleased with my swim and was only one minute and 30 seconds behind the Brownlees, which is what I hoped for,” said Butterfield, who finished in a time of 1hr 55min 31sec.
“I was right on the back of Tom Davidson and have no excuse, really, that I didn't tag on the back of him on the bike.
“Those  seconds he had from when he got on his bike were crucial. He just blew away from me and he's just faster.
“Kudos to him because he played an important tactical role for his team [helping Tony Dodds finish tenth and Ryan Sissons to place thirteenth].
Had Butterfield managed to latch on to the coattails of Davidson, who was disqualified from the race after being lapped by the leaders in the run, he believed that he could have threatened farther up the field.
Butterfield finished the swim in 19:00, bike in 1:20:52 and run in 34:13.
“When I jumped on my bike, I thought I was going to be able to catch Davidson and have a better day than I had hoped,” said Butterfield, who opted for an aerodynamic time-trial helmet in an effort to maximise the skills that he honed as a professional cyclist
“I was actually getting excited, but it didn't pan out for me,” he said. “I can't complain, although I would have been more disappointed if I hadn't of ran so well. To be honest, nineteenth is where I belong in this type of race.”
Butterfield's team-mates, Jonathan Herring and Tucker Murphy, were both pulled from the race on the bike course after being lapped by the leaders.
“I saw John and Tucker on the course cheering the other runners along after they had been lapped,” Butterfield said.
“They both seemed upbeat and they knew coming into the race there was chance that could happen.”
Spare a thought for Vincent Onyango, of Kenya, who had never competed in a triathlon before yesterday's race. Onyango, who only learnt to swim in his twenties, was fished from the water after being lapped by the leaders.
He said that he made the bizarre choice of breaststroke because, without a wetsuit, he was quicker at that stroke.