Bermuda seventh in triathlon relay at Commonwealth Games
The Bermuda team were left proud of their efforts after finishing seventh of 12 in the triathlon mixed team relay at the Commonwealth Games.
There had been hopes among the team pre-race of causing a shock and getting on to the podium, but it was not to be as the accumulative efforts of Dame Flora Duffy, Tyler Smith, Erica Hawley and Tyler Butterfield saw them post a combined time of 1hr 20min 6sec, slightly less than 3½ minutes adrift of gold medal-winning England.
A dominant display saw the hotly tipped team of Alex Yee, Sophie Coldwell, Samuel Dickinson and Georgia Taylor-Brown match expectations in style to finish in 1:16:40, 46 seconds ahead of Wales, with Australia completing the podium places a further three seconds behind.
Despite the disappointment of falling short of bettering the fifth-place finish from four years ago in Australia, Bermuda were more than content with their endeavours.https://cdn.jwplayer.com/players/6runaMr0-XpQnop1y.html
“We obviously came into this with pretty high expectations compared to last time out but I think we found out it was a quickly that it was almost a completely different level and everyone has stepped things up,” said Tyler Smith, who kicked off the first leg of the race consisting of a 300-metre swim, five-kilometre bike and 2km run for each of athlete. “The level of the relay seems a lot higher, but as a team I think we did really well.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Tyler Butterfield — in his fifth Commonwealth Games — who heaped praise on the two younger members of the squad.
“Like Tyler [Smith] said, we came here with high expectations but we also knew that we needed to have the perfect race and also the perfect scenario with mistakes from other teams,” Butterfield said.
“I think if we did this race again next week, the results would not be identical. The gold medal may be pretty consistent but it was the bronze medal that we were perhaps hopeful of and we gave it our best shot; we can’t ask for any more.
“I’m super impressed with these guys [Hawley and Smith] and I’m glad I stayed fresh enough to just do this race. I think we can all be proud with the performance because we all did what we could do.
“I think we all had a better performance than four years ago, even though the result didn’t go the way we wanted it to. I think we have all improved and so we have to be happy with that.
“This is the most fun and best triathlon performance I’ve had.”
Hawley, who brought the team home on the final leg, was also adamant the quartet could not have done any more in what proved a gruelling race in sweltering conditions.
“We all gave it our best,” she said. “I’m super proud of everyone because we all gave it our best in what was a brutal day. Overall, we can’t be too disheartened.”
Despite a strong opening leg from Smith which saw him exit the water in 3min 40sec, clock 6:36 on the bike — the fastest of the first-leg athletes — and a 7:06 run, by the time he handed over to Duffy, Bermuda were more than a minute down on the leaders.
Although one of the sport’s greatest athletes as world, Olympic and Commonwealth champion, it was always going to prove too much of a gap for Duffy to make up. By the time she had completed her leg, which saw splits of 4:24, 7:13 and 7:15, the gap had been closed but only fractionally.
Butterfield also enjoyed an encouraging performance, exiting the water in 4:38, completing the bike course in 6:49 and the run in 7:05 before handing over to Hawley, who finished strongly with splits of 4:40, 7:32 and 7:46 to wrap up a seventh-place finish.