Written by Mitch Phillips
TOKYO (Reuters) – A hole less than two kilometers from the end of a bike’s stem may have ruined Georgia Taylor Brown’s hopes of winning a triathlon gold on Tuesday – or perhaps it was what prompted the Briton to take what turned out to be. Silver is absolutely gorgeous.
Taylor Brown was one of a group of five, who broke just over a minute off the court and knew the medals would be shared between them.
But as soon as her thoughts began to turn to the decisive 10-kilometer run, disaster struck.
The 27-year-old said, “I was really happy we had a group of five…and then I just heard ‘pop, tzzzssss’ and the wheel started to crash and I thought it was ‘cool’.”
“It was near a wheel quit but I decided not to quit – I could get back into the group on the straight but not at the corners.”
Taylor Brown revealed following the race that she suffered a stress fracture in her leg three months ago that left her unable to run for six weeks, but she kept it a secret so as not to let her competitors think she had a weakness.
The originally twisted technical track was much tougher due to wind and rain that delayed the start and Taylor Brown had to quit at nearly every turn to ensure she didn’t go down, as many others did.
The result was that she entered the final transition 22 seconds later than the main group of four, but was fueled by frustration.
Taylor Brown, who quickly picked two athletes to move to third, said prior trying to triumph the 2019 US World Championships Katie Zafris.
“I was vowing my time, I’ve been holding it for five seconds for a lengthy time and didn’t want to shove it beforetime because I was really struggling,” she said.
“But I really wanted to go ahead and get the silver – obviously I knew gold was out of reach,” said Taylor Brown, referring to race winner Flora Duffy, who was a minute ahead of her. “I went really firm on lap three, overtook and then settled on my pace again and held on until the end.”
At the Tokyo Test event in 2019, Taylor Brown finished the competition first, along with compatriot Jess Learmonth, who finished ninth on Tuesday, only to be disqualified for creating a “contrived situation”.
This time she crossed the streak at number two, but following preparing for injury and the worst timing of her life, she has every right to feel like a winner. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Karishma Singh)