The talk from Tokyo: With Olympic medallists and athletes - men's race

by on 26 Jul, 2021 06:42 • Español
The talk from Tokyo: With Olympic medallists and athletes - men's race

Thoughts and reflections exchanged with the Olympic medallists and athletes after the dramatic Tokyo 2020 Olympic Triathlon individual men’s competition on Monday morning at Odaiba Bay, Tokyo.

Kristian Blummenfelt NOR – Tokyo 2020 Olympic triathlon champion
“Well it was quite the same tactic as in Yokohama eight-weeks ago and also in Lisbon. I don’t really have the leg speed if we came down to the blue-carpet with Alex (Yee) and Hayden (Wilde) so I knew I had to try and go really hard for five minutes all out and hopefully that would be enough to break them. It was such a good feeling when I got a little gap and I just had to make sure it was big enough, even for the last few hundred metres.”

Alex Yee GBR – Olympic Triathlon silver medallist
“For me, I just wanted to run the best 10-km I could. Leaving the bike, I didn’t feel amazing honestly, I kind of had my poker face on. I knew my strength lied in my leg speed, just tried to pick up my leg speed because that’s easier speed for me so that’s what I kind of played to my strengths and yes, I was really pleased to come away with second honestly. Kristian (Blummenfelt) was the better man on the day and I am really pleased.”

“It was actually quite comfortable, we have been preparing for the heat for so many years. I have a really good team around me. Probably world-leading when it comes to heat preparation. We were actually a bit disappointed when we came to Miyazaki (pre-Games training camp) and the temperature wasn’t as warm as we were hoping for. It’s weird coming from Norway, a country where it’s raining and cold and be having heat as the strength in the group. It shows the strength of the tam around me.” 

Hayden Wilde NZL – Olympic Triathlon bronze medallist
“Coming into the third lap there was still probably eight of us coming in, about half way to go, so there were some absolute animals in that group of eight and it could have been anyone’s game and after a few attacks, it was left to the last three of us. We all looked at each other and we had our poker faces on behind our glasses and I actually remembered when I raced Alex, a couple of months ago in WTCS Leeds, he was really aggressive around the corners, so I thought I am not letting him go round those corners as fast as last time. So, I tried to hold onto him on every corner. With Kristian, I remembered watching him race, when I was in New Zealand in lockdown, doing that exact move in Yokohama and I was waiting and then thinking there it is. The man definitely deserves that gold medal, he was storming it on the bike as well. No feet out of the front of the pack, didn’t hide, just did everything on the front and kudos to him.”

Jonathan Brownlee GBR - Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 5th place
“It was unbelievably tough. I tried to get ahead in the break in the swim, worked really hard but then got caught up . On the run it’s come down to 18-months of preparation and that’s what happened. I gave it everything I could, don’t think I can ask for much better than that. I got to be proud of myself. I gave it absolutely everything. Trained as hard as I could. Raced as hard as I could.”

“I told myself last night is all I can do is try my hardest and before that – prepare. I did everything I could, prepared in the heat, trained as hard as I could and had a great team around me and that’s all I can ask. I have been very fortunate at my other 2 Olympic Games with two medals and now I have performed well in 3. Not quite good enough to get three medals yet but we’ve got a good chance on Saturday (mixed relay).”

On Alex Yee GBR earning the silver medal
“It was unbelievable. I have seen him come through, he’s an unbelievable talent. He’s a great runner and he knows how to race. He is now converted himself to a great all-round triathlete and he deserves that. Alex has the bullet now to dominate the sport, people are going to have to carry on and work out how to beat him because if they’re not careful, he’s going to win lots and lots of races.”

“Kristian is an incredibly tough athlete, these tough conditions suit him and he is another one who trains and prepares incredibly well.”

Kevin McDowell (USA) - Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 6th place
“I thought my race was over after that swim, I was just nailed but once I came out, I saw Gomez (Javier), everyone who came out was by me at least so we all just got destroyed. Then when we came out, I wasn’t allowed to work until we caught Morgan so I didn’t take any poles until Morgan was up the front and once we connected to Morgan I was able to work and felt very strong on the bike and patiently relaxed. I found my way into transition and just came out good. I almost didn’t back myself. I was afraid I would overcook myself, but this is the Olympics, I went and tried to hold on for that medal for as long as I could and at one point I was leading and they made a move and then just thought, let’s just grit it through until the end. I just channeled all the people back home and all the support system around me, I was looking down at these bracelets and imagining where I have been through. I have been watching this since a little kid. When I was on my bedside so sick, just dreaming of being back out here and now I am at the Olympic Games and actually competing for a medal. I am probably one of the happiest sixth place guys right now. I have to thank my coach for putting believe in me and I am just so happy to continue with this.”

“It’s the Olympics, you got to go for it here and I went for it here. I know I gave everything I had out there.”

Vincent Luis FRA - Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 13th place
“It was not my day, is a really hard course, I played my cards but it didn’t play out. Really strong guys there. I had to take some risks to grab medal. In a course like this, it just didn’t work.”

Mohamad Maso SYR - Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 47th place
“I left Syria five years ago with just a bag and some sports stuff and started training the next day. I had a dream and I wanted to get it, now I’m here but I still can’t believe it.”

Up next on the schedule: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Triathlon women’s race - July 27, 0630am JST (July 26, 2330 CEST)
For more information on the schedule and how to watch visit the website.

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