NZ agonisingly out of the medals in Commonwealth Games mixed triathlon relay

NZ's Hayden Wilde takes off ahead of England's Alex Yee in the first leg of the triathlon mixed team relay at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

David Ramos / Getty Images

NZ’s Hayden Wilde takes off ahead of England’s Alex Yee in the first leg of the triathlon mixed team relay at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Not even Hayden Wilde could match the scorching pace of the host nation as New Zealand just missed the medals in the triathlon mixed team relay in Birmingham on Monday morning (NZ time).

The New Zealand team of Wilde, Nicole van der Kaay, Tayler Reid and Andrea Hansen finished fourth, eight seconds behind bronze medalists Australia as England took gold and Wales silver at Sutton Park.

Veteran Hansen started the final leg in a group of three with Non Stanford of Wales and Sophie Linn of Australia but couldn’t hold on in the latter stages of the run.

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Kiwi triathlete was leading then had to stop for a controversial 10-second penalty.

Wilde’s chances of gold in the men’s individual sprint on day one of the Commonwealth Games were controversially hampered by a 10-second time penalty he received for unfastening his helmet before he had parked his bike in the transition stage from cycle to run.

Wilde was eventually beaten by 13 seconds by England’s Alex Yee and later protested the decision, aiming to get the result changed so that he could share gold with Yee.

Yee claimed his second gold of the Games when he teamed up with Sophie Coldwell, Sam Dickinson and Georgia Taylor-Brown as England romped to victory in a time of 1:16:40 in the event which sees each team member swim 300 meters, cycle 5km and run for two kilometers.

Wilde and Yee again had a world-class head-to-head battle over the first leg. After Wilde safely emerged from the second transition stage without penalty, he found Yee’s phenomenal pace on the 2km run a little too hot to handle, ending the first leg 20 seconds behind England.

Nicole van der Kaay of New Zealand starts her bike ride during the triathlon mixed team relay on day three of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Sutton Park.

David Ramos / Getty Images

Nicole van der Kaay of New Zealand starts her bike ride during the triathlon mixed team relay on day three of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Sutton Park.

NZ were still in contention for silver at the end of van der Kaay’s leg, before Reid helped reduce the gap on England to 16 seconds heading into the final leg.

The New Zealand team were without the services of Ainsley Thorpe, who had to withdraw before the start of the Games after contracting Covid-19 while training in Spain.

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Wilde still aims to win the world title this year and also has his sights set on gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The fourth-place finish might mark the end of the long international career of Hansen, who was a surprise selection at age 40 after becoming a mother for the first time 15 months ago,

Hansen, who was 18th in women’s individual sprint race, won bronze in the individual event in Melbourne in 2006, and again in the mixed team relay at the Gold Coast four years ago.

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