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Tyler Smith encouraged by progress but still hard on himself

Promising performances: Tyler Smith, pictured competing at the ITU World Cup in Arzachena, Italy, enjoyed another encouraging display at the 2020 Barcelona ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup in Spain on Sunday

Tyler Smith conceded he may need to manage his personal expectations after being left disappointed despite another promising display among triathlon’s elite.

On the back of an encouraging performance at the ITU Triathlon Arzachena World Cup in Italy, where he finished 26th, Smith battled to a 22nd-place finish in a field of 58, competing in the 2020 Barcelona ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup in Spain on Sunday. He crossed the line in 56min 1sec.

However, despite finishing less than three minutes adrift of race winner Kristian Blummenfelt, a Norwegian Olympian and multiple Ironman champion, and second-placed Javier Gómez Noya, a five-times world champion, Smith was left underwhelmed by his endeavours among illustrious company.

“If I’m being honest I was expecting more from myself coming off the back of my performance at the Arzachena World Cup in Italy,” he said. “I expected more from myself in terms of the final result.

“It’s one of those things. It was a different type of dynamic to the last race as well as a different style of course, and I think that was the main problem. I was more suited to the event in Italy.

“However, it shows how far I’ve come in a short space to be disappointed with a result like that. I’m in a good place and I suppose it might be a case of managing my personal expectations. Overall, it was another promising display that I can build on.”

The 22-year-old was ultimately left to rue a course heavily dominated by the final run section, the weakest of Smith’s disciplines, having battled back from a fractured foot last year. It was those lack of miles in terms of training over the past 12 months that he feels proved decisive.

“Unfortunately, it all came down to the run and that hampered me this time around,” he added.

“It wasn’t a case of fitness. You can be super fit, but the speed of the run can be difficult to cope with. With my lack of miles over the past year or so, I can’t really afford to get caught in foot races — and that’s what happened. You can’t make up for a lack of running and miles in the tank at this elite level.”

Despite his personal disappointment, Smith remains content in the knowledge that he further proved his credentials among the world’s elite, as he aims to make his mark at the ITU Triathlon Valencia World Cup next week Saturday.

“The main thing for me is that it has further built on my confidence that I can compete at this level,” he said. “It was another great experience.

“I will be all guns blazing for the next World Cup event in Valencia now. It’s another fantastic race to be part of and I can’t wait. I’ve got nothing to lose and I’ll be giving it my all.”

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Published October 30, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated October 29, 2020 at 4:00 pm)

Tyler Smith encouraged by progress but still hard on himself

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