Hayden Wilde bemoans ‘debatable’ penalty which ruined CWG gold bid

Kiwi reflects on the agony of that crucial late penalty on Friday

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We got the Commonwealth Games men’s triathlon race we wanted, but not the finish, leaving Hayden Wilde to bemoan the “debatable” penalty which ruined his bid for gold.

Wilde was joined by great rival Alex Yee at the head of affairs heading into the closing 1000m of a breakneck showdown in Birmingham on Friday morning.

But disaster struck for the Kiwi as he was informed he had picked up a 10-second time penalty for unclipping his bike helmet too early in T2. That left Yee clear to surge to the line for gold while Wilde served his penalty.

Wilde on CWG gold bid

Hayden said afterwards said Team New Zealand would protest the penalty, but maintained he was not disappointed by the result.

He said: “I got a breakaway going and they boys, I was motivating, I was like ‘come on boys, the medals are up here, let’s just go on’. We got a 16-second gap and the coach just said ‘relax, let Alex catch up’. That was the gameplan.

“I saw I had a penalty, which is debatable, but that’s racing. I know exactly what I did, so expecting we’ll go ahead and do a protest but there’s nothing else we can do about it.

“It is what it is, and I’m super-happy I did everything I could have done in the race. I’m proud of what I did, I didn’t leave anything to chance and, yeah, it was ripper!”

Hayden hails great rival Yee

Wilde paid tribute to his great rival Yee after yet another great battle between the pair, saying: “I’m chuffed for the guy. He played a perfect race. He was in a group and he was in contention.

“I knew it was going to be a hard task even with 16 seconds in front. We’ve had such great battles since Tokyo with him being the silver and myself getting the bronze, and just repeating it again and it was like, oh damn, another one. It’s just awesome to see him.

“I guess we came into the limelight together and we’re still developing and becoming better athletes.”

Wilde of course admitted blame for the WTCS Leeds crash which saw Yee and Jonny Brownlee both exit early. Injuries suffered that day eventually would rule Brownlee out of these games.

Wilde said: “We’re great mates behind the scenes, that’s part of racing. We know it was the last thing I wanted to see, but to see them here and to get that gold medal for his country is fantastic.

“Obviously, Jonny isn’t here which I’m a little disappointed about personally. Having a Brownlee in any sort of race makes it super exciting. If we would have had Jonny up the front, who know what could have happened. I’m really happy to come away with silver.”

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