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Tyler Smith says there is more to come

Hard on himself: Tyler Smith was took few positives from a 22nd-place finish in the Under-23 World Triathlon Championship Finals in Edmonton, Canada (Photograph courtesy of World Triathlon)

Tyler Smith conceded he was left underwhelmed despite a promising performance in the in the Under-23 World Triathlon Championship Finals in Edmonton, Canada.

Among a stellar field of the sport’s best young triathletes, Smith sealed a highly respectable nineteenth-place finish, having exited the water from the 1,500-metre swim in 18min 52sec, clocked 56:46 on the 40-kilometre cycle and completed the 10km run in 34:41, for a combined total of 1:51:07.

However, despite finishing less than five minutes adrift of Hungary’s Csongor Lehmann race-winning time of 1:46:47, the 22-year-old was left disappointed with his endeavours, having failed to match to his pre-race target of a top-ten finish.

“A top-20 finish in an Under-23 World Championship isn’t something I should be overly disappointed with, it’s just I knew I was capable of more, and that is the frustrating part,” said Smith, who also admitted to be suffering from a niggling injury to his foot,

“I went into the race with pretty high hopes. I thought that a top-ten finish was definitely achievable, and I even thought there was an outside chance of breaking into the top-five places.

“Looking at how I have been running recently and the sort of the sessions I have been able to achieve, especially in the past four weeks, I had really high hopes in myself.”

Smith feels he was left to rue his swim section, with the seemingly mere ten seconds lost to the lead group heading into the first transition and the cycle, ultimately proving too much to make up as the race wore on, despite his best efforts to lead the chasing pack on the bike.

“Unfortunately, I just didn’t have a particularly fantastic day,” he added. I was just a bit off the pace in the swim and that cost me for the rest of the race.

“It meant I had to chase pretty hard with four other competitors on the bike and I thought maybe halfway through the bike we had a chance because we got the gap down to around 20 seconds. However, it became difficult to make any further inroads on the lead group.

“On the run I knew I had a bit of a niggling injury in my foot; I’m not entirely sure what it is; but it was definitely something that was quite painful throughout the run.

“My hope was that I could get through the race and perform really strongly on just adrenalin but unfortunately that just wasn’t the case.

“It was frustrating because looking at the start list I knew it was going to be a really strong swim and it was obvious that was going to be the important part of the race. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to execute that better.”

Despite his disappointment, Smith can now look forward to a special homecoming ahead of competing in the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships in Bermuda, scheduled to take place from October 15 to 17.

Smith will join forces with fellow professional triathlete Erica Hawley — who secured a 22nd-place finish in the under-23 women’s final in Edmonton — and Olympic gold medal-winner and newly crowned three-times World Triathlon Championship Series title holder Flora Duffy, to form the Bermuda Elite Mixed Relay team at the championships.

The event will consist of a series of individual and relay sprint-distance races for elite athletes, juniors and age groups.

“I was left disappointed but I know I will have plenty more opportunities to prove myself on the world stage,” Smith added. “The good news is now I can focus on looking forward to the Relay World Championships in Bermuda.”

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Published August 25, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated August 25, 2021 at 7:57 am)

Tyler Smith says there is more to come

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