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Smith encouraged by early-season form

Triathlete Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith said he is encouraged with his first performance of the season after coming eighteenth at the ETU European Cup and Iberoamerican Championships in Huelva, Spain, last weekend.

Smith, who was Bermuda’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast last year, is now setting his sights on more international competition.

The University of Leeds student was part of Bermuda’s mixed relay team which finished fifth in the relay at the Commonwealth Games.

The relay team, which also included Tyler Butterfield, Flora Duffy and Erica Hawley, received a Special Recognition award at the annual Government Sports Awards last week, where Butterfield and Duffy also reclaimed their Athlete of the Year Awards.

“The race in Huelva was a good test of my early-season form, and my first experience racing an Olympic-distance event at a high level,” Smith said.

“The focus of my winter of training has been on increasing volume to be able to compete over the Olympic distance, double the length of what I’ve previously raced as a junior.”

Smith was sixth out of the water and fourth after the bike before losing ground on the run.

“For the most part, I’m pleased with my race, especially the swim and bike on a challenging course with a sea swim followed by a hilly and technical bike with tight turns and a section of cobble stones,” Smith added.

Smith had splits of 19min 31sec in the swim, 58:41 on the bike and 34:24 on the run for an overall time of 1:54:16, just over two minutes behind overall winner Barclay Izzard, of Britain, in 1:52:01.

Smith, 20, believes there is plenty of room for improvement leading up to the Pan American Games and Under-23 World Championships this summer.

“I’ll need to improve my run if I hope to be more competitive at my target events later in the year, which include the Pan American Games in Lima in July, and the Under-23 World Championships in August,” Smith said.

The Bermuda Olympic Association plan to name their Pan Am Games team in June.

n Hawley, a student at the University of Colorado, is in New Zealand for the New Plymouth ITU World Cup this weekend.

The elite men’s and women’s races will be held on Sunday. Hawley placed 31st overall in her first appearance at the event last year.

The sprint distance involves a 750 metres swim, 20K bike and 5K run and will be held on Ngamotu Beach and the surrounding roads of Taranaki.