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Learmonth and Austin win brilliant Commonwealth Triathlon Medals

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Jess Learmonth won Team England’s first medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. She won silver behind world champion, Flora Duffy of Bermuda. Scotland’s Marc Austin won his first major championship medal with bronze in the men’s race behind Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Jake Birtwhistle (AUS).

2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games RESULTS:

Elite Men

1. Henri Schoeman RSA 00:52:31
2. Jacob Birtwhistle AUS 00:52:38
3. Marc Austin SCO 00:52:44
7. Jonathan Brownlee ENG 00:53:09
10. Alistair Brownlee ENG 00:53:37
17. Grant Sheldon SCO 00:55:42
19. Thomas Bishop ENG 00:56:15
24. Joshua Lewis JEY 00:58:45
26. Oliver Turner GGY 01:00:06
28. Andrew Gordon GIB 01:00:59
29. Chris Walker GIB 01:02:00
31. Robert Matto GIB 01:05:47

Elite Women

1. Flora Duffy BER 00:56:50
2. Jessica Learmonth ENG 00:57:33
3. Joanna Brown CAN 00:57:38
4. Vicky Holland ENG 00:57:42
6. Sophie Coldwell ENG 00:58:19
8. Non Stanford WAL 00:58:45
12. Beth Potter SCO 00:59:50
19. Jennifer Newbery IOM 01:07:18
DNS. Erin Wallace SCO DNS

For full results, please visit here

Learmonth put in a fine 750m swim, exiting the choppy water first with Duffy just behind and England’s Sophie Coldwell a further few seconds back. Unfortunately, Coldwell wasn’t able to catch Learmonth and Duffy, who were a formidable duo on the 20km bike section and distanced themselves from the chasing packs of athletes with each lap.

At the start of the 5km run, they had a gap of over a minute and claimed the gold and silver medals. A battle for bronze developed between Gold Coast home favourite, Ashleigh Gentle, England’s Vicky Holland and Canada’s Joanna Brown. Gentle is the stronger runner on paper, but Brown had the most speed at the end. Holland finished fourth, heartbreakingly close to the medals, but an excellent performance that will help England in Saturday’s Mixed Relay.

A rightfully delighted Learmonth commented: “I'm delighted. I tried to enjoy it as much as I could but with Jo (Brown) right behind me, it wasn't that enjoyable! But I can try and re-live it now and enjoy it. It was great to be the first Team England medal of the games - what an honour.”

Sophie Coldwell recorded an excellent sixth place at her first major Games. Non Stanford was the next best Home Nations athlete in 8th for Wales.

For further reaction from Home Nations athletes, visit HERE.

Marc Austin’s bronze was not just his first major championship medal, but also Scotland’s first medal of the Games. The 24 year old from Glasgow got everything right to put himself in a position to challenge for the medal, and put in a fantastic run to claim the medal.

Austin said: “My race today was pretty great. Everything went according to plan and I knew that I couldn't have given anything else. I finished in a heap. My training leading up to the Games has been perfect, and I knew that if ever I was going to deliver my best performance, it was going to be today.”

There was disappointment for the Brownlee Brothers who finished 7th (Jonathan) and 10th (Alistair). Alistair was first out of the swim and cycled aggressively but couldn’t distance himself from the other favourites given a lack of run training due to injury.

Jonathan said: “I just didn't feel great. I've had ups and downs coming into this race and I was injured at the start of January, so I've missed a lot of training, but I thought I was going to be better than that today. Fair play to Marc (Austin) for getting on that podium.”

With Saturday’s Mixed Relay on his mind, Alistair added: “I absolutely gave it my all; I was even having a sprint finish at the end there for 10th place! My calf feels absolutely fine, I wouldn't have been sprinting at the end if it didn't. Obviously, I had the relay in the back of my mind as well.”

England, Wales and Scotland all have Mixed Relay teams ready for Saturday’s race. Saturday will also see the first ever Commonwealth Games Paratriathlon. Start lists are HERE.

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