Rio Olympics

Aileen Reid finishes 21st in triathlon final at Rio Olympics

Ireland's Aileen Reid during the women's triathlon on day 15 of the Rio Olympics Games
Picture by PA
Malcolm McCausland

A STORMING final run saw Derry woman Aileen Reid finish a creditable 21st in the women’s triathlon on the penultimate day of the Olympic Games in Rio. Reid finished four minutes and 58 seconds behind the winner and pre-race favourite Gwen Jorgenson of the United States.

The defending champion from London four years ago, Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig, occupied the runner-up spot with Britain’s Vicky Holland outsprinting compatriot Non Stanford for the bronze medal.

Reid was back in the thirties coming out the water at the end of the swim although only 18 seconds behind the leader. However, she lost further time, especially on the hill, during the 40km cycle course centred on Copacabana beachfront.

The former teacher set off in 35th position on the final ten kilometre run but timed her effort perfectly to gain 14 places by the finish line. That was a significant improvement on her 43rd placing in London four years ago when she crashed on her bike outside Buckingham Palace.

“I put it all out there,” said the Lisburn resident, who is moving to Australia soon.

“I left everything that I had. It was a wee bit tactical in the run but I felt like I did the best job I could do to give myself the best chance for a good finish. On the bike, I could put my hand up and say I put in the work. I was leading my group up and down the hill each time, working with Helen [Jenkins]. I did my best and I can only be happy with that.”

Reid had intimated prior to Rio that the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 would be her swansong but now will not rule out going again for Tokyo in four years’ time.

“I don’t think I had planned to but there’s now more girls racing on the circuit that have kids. It doesn’t seem to have done Nicola [Spirig] any harm and some of the other girls too, so never say never."

A battling final ten kilometres saw Paul Pollock storm through the field to take 32nd in yesterday’s marathon won by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge in 2:08:44. Pollock was only 94th at the 25 kilometre mark but moved rapidly through the field to cross the line in 2:16:44.

Kevin Seaward was next Irish man home in 64th place in 2:20:06 with Mick Clohisey not having one of his best days in 103rd and a time of 2:26:34. In the final action on the track, Britain’s Mo Farah matched the hitherto unique feat of Finland’s Lasse Viren when he completed his second successive 5,000 and 10,000 metres double with a victory over the shorter distance.

Matt Centrowitz of the United States was a shock winner of a slow men’s 1500m. South Africa’s Caster Semenya coped with the pressure from being under the constant eye of the world’s press to win the women’s 800m.

Germany’s Thomas Rohler of Germany earned a dramatic Javelin victory with a huge fifth round effort of 90.30 metres and in the other field event of the night, the women’s High Jump, Spain’s 37-year-old Ruth Beitia claimed her first global title by clearing 1.97m. The United States brought the curtain down with victories in both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays.

Earlier in the early hours of Saturday morning Usain Bolt completed an historic, what is now being called, triple treble. Bolt anchored the a crack Jamaican squad to victory in the 4 x 100m relay to add to earlier gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres. That was the third consecutive Olympiad that the giant from Trelawney Bay has achieved the feat.

The USA were disqualified in the men’s 4 x 100m relay but won the women’s. There were golds for Kenya in the women’s 5,000m through Vivian Cheruiyot, and Greece in the women’s Pole Vault with Ekaterini Stefanidi and Dilshod Nazarov’s victory in the men’s Hammer gave Tajikistan its first medal of these Games.

Rio Olympics

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