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Australia and New Zealand team up for Mixed Triathlon silver

12 October 2018

BUENOS AIRES 2018: We are often rivals on the sporting field, but Australia and New Zealand happily joined forces on Day 5 of Buenos Aires 2018 to bring home a silver medal for Oceania in the Mixed Teams Triathlon.

Australia’s Josh Ferris and Charlotte Derbyshire teamed up with Dylan McCollough, who won gold in the men’s individual event on Day 2, and Brea Roderick for one of the greatest underdog stories of the Games.

The gold medal went to Team Europe 1, consisting of all the individual bronze and silver medallists from the mens and womens events. The European Team were by far the gold medal favourites.

However, Team Oceania challenged the Europeans for all 86 minutes. While the two teams jostled for the gold and silver medal positions, they opened up an unattainable gap with the rest of the field.

While Team Europe 1 eventually took the win in 1:26.12, Team Oceania were only 20 seconds behind, and Team Europe 3 in the bronze medal position was 2 minutes, 27 seconds behind the Aussies and Kiwis.

Derbyshire said she was excited to have another crack at racing in Argentina and loved raving in the Team environment.

“It’s really good competing in a Team event for a chance, it’s a lot of fun. The pressure’s not all on you, it’s on the whole team, so it’s a bit more relaxed which makes for really fun racing,” she said.

Josh Ferris and Charlotte Derbyshire with their Mixed Team Traithlon silver medals

The 17-year-old, who placed 18th in her individual event on Day 1, said she was looking for redemption in Thursday’s competition because she didn’t feel like she performed to her potential in her first race.

“I’m really happy with my race today,” Derbyshire said, who actually came into the race feeling unwell, making her effort even more commendable.

“I was pretty disappointed with my individual race so I’m happy to do a race that I’m proud of today.

“I had a much better swim which allowed me to get in the front pack of the ride, then the run came through as well so I’m happy with my race all around today.”

After coming out of the swim in 11th place, Derbyshire stuck with the main pack on the bike before blitzing the run to move up to fourth place when she tagged McCullough.

The 17-year-old Kiwi backed up his gold medal performance by making up 60 seconds of ground on Team Europe 1, who were in the lead. McCullough pushed into first place on the run before tagging in his compatriot Roderick for the third leg.

“On paper that European Team were a lot better than us so we brought our A Game today and I’m stoked that we pulled it off,” McCullough said.

“I just went as hard as I could right from the start to try and put these guys in the lead and I’m so happy to take silver with the guys today.”

Team Oceania embrace as they win silver in the Mixed Teams Tri

Roderick, who placed 9th in the women’s individual event, spent the entire race neck-and neck with Anja Weber from Switzerland who won bronze in the individual event on Sunday. The 16-year-old Kiwi tagged in Australia’s Josh Ferris in equal first place.

Ferris, who came 18th in the individual men’s event on Monday, came up against silver medallist Alexandre Montez of Portugal for the final leg. Ferris only lost only 24 seconds in the swim and bike, before putting down a cracking time of 6:25 in the 1500m run, 2 seconds faster than Montez’s run leg, to claim silver with all the Aussies and Kiwis cheering him on.

“It feels awesome to take the silver today,” Ferris said. “This team is such a good group of people, I couldn’t be happier for all of us and it’s really special.

“I knew coming up against Portugal was going to be tough. When I came out of the water I’d lost a bit of time but knew I just had to ride and run as hard as I could and limit the losses I had in the swim. Overall I’m really happy with how I performed, as this entire Team should be.”

For two teams who are so often sporting rivals in the Oceania region, Roderick joked that it was great to put our sporting rivalries aside to come together for the greater good.

“It feels great to come together as one instead of being enemies,” she laughed. “It was a really awesome race and there was great teamwork out there.”

Georgia Thompson
olympics.com.au

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