England grabs the gold at Mixed Relay Commonwealth Games

(Archive photo: World Triathlon)

They were untouchable ever since Alex Yee was off during the run in the first leg: England just claimed gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The team – with Yee, Sophie Coldwell, Sam Dickinson and Georgia Taylor-Brown – was clearly the strongest, as they led the whole race with a big gap to the rest of the field. Wales grabbed the silver 46 seconds later, while Australia took home bronze (+0:49).

Leg one: South Africa, England, and New Zealand lead

South Africa’s Jamie Riddle put the South African team up to a great start, as he was first out of the water in leg one. New Zealand – with Hayden Wilde – followed eight seconds later. Riddle conquered the bike course on his own, trying to hold off the chasers. It didn’t take long before Wilde joined Riddle, and soon afterwards England followed. The rest of the field started the run part more than 10 seconds later. On the run, Yee created a big buffer for England. England was first to jump back into the water, 20 seconds ahead of the field. New Zealand was in second place, Australia in third and South Africa in fourth.

Leg two: England lonely at the top

Coldwell was first out of the water and extended the lead to second place – Australia, with Natalie van Coevorden – to 24 seconds. New Zealand exited the water in third (+0:34) and South Africa was still in fourth place. While England was lonely in front, some countries shuffled in position behind them. Scotland, Wales, New Zealand and Australia formed a bike pack. Coldwell got to start the run 36 seconds ahead of these athletes. On the run she lost some time to Scotland, New Zealand and Wales, because these three jumped back into the water 27 seconds behind England.

Leg three: Scotland and New Zealand chase

Sam Dickinson was up next for team England. In the water, his lead stayed the exact same: 27 seconds. While Wales had dropped off a bit, New Zealand and Scotland were still in second and third place. England worked hard in front to try to keep the two chase countries off. Dickinson managed to do so very well, because when starting the run, the time difference had gone up to more than 30 seconds. Behind him, Wales and Australia had moved closer to New Zealand and Scotland again. New Zealand, Wales, and Scotland jumped into the water only sixteen seconds behind England as the athletes entered the fourth and final leg.

Leg four: England is out of sight

Taylor-Brown extended the buffer that she was given during the swim part to 24 seconds. On the bike and run, nobody could get anywhere near her anymore. England ended up winning the event, Wales sprinted to an impressive second place (+0:46), while Australia took third (+0:49).