Alex Yee of England wins the first gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Yee-ha! England win their first Commonwealth Games gold medal as Alex Yee adds to his Olympic silver with a brilliant finish in the men’s triathlon, and is congratulated by runner-up Hayden Wilde… on the run!

  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic star Alex Yee wins first gold medal of the Games
  • Yee won the men’s triathlon title ahead of New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde
  • The 24-year-old Englishman benefited from a 10-second penalty on Wilde
  • Yee described the win in Birmingham as the “biggest achievement” of his career

By Riath Al-Samarrai for MailOnline

Published: 11:55, July 29, 2022 | Updated: 17:20, July 29, 2022

One by one, Alex Yee caught them all. Dying in the water, resurrected with his bike and a speed demon in his shoes, he broke their break and then broke their spirit.

When he got level with the last of the damned, Hayden Wilde, his great rival and close friend, knew the game was over, so he could only smile and pat Yee on the back as he passed .

With it, the 24-year-old from Lewisham handed England their first gold of these Games and a reminder, if needed, that the Brownlees have their successor, here and beyond.

Alex Yee hailed biggest career achievement after winning men’s triathlon gold

Yee was able to stand and enjoy the moment before filming in Birmingham

There will be those who question the value of prizes in this scenario, but not those who know triathlon, and certainly not those who know Wilde. There are always cheaper medals at the Commonwealth Games, but the New Zealander is no easy mark – he is world No.2 and won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

But he lost silver to Yee in Japan and was beaten to gold by him at this park just north of Birmingham. And what a race it was, marred only a fraction by Wilde’s realization in the 5km race that he would have to serve a 10-second penalty for taking his helmet off too early in the second transition. But even then he knew it would be academic: Yee would catch him anyway.

This from a 15-second deficit after the 750m swim and the same after the 20km cycle, timings that saw Yee 16th out of the water and just fifth in the race. It’s important to realize at this stage that Wilde is a very good distance runner: his best on a track is 13:29 and he even flirted with qualifying for the track portion and field of the Games.

But Yee is a bit faster: fast enough to be an international racer in his own right and the best on the roads in his sport. And so the race was given back to him, and then taken away from him, eventually passing Wilde inside the final kilometer and falling to the ground after 50 minutes and 34 seconds. It was then that he declared it his greatest achievement, surpassing his Olympic silver medal and the gold he won in the team event.

“This is a home Games and it’s the first time I’ve been able to run in front of my parents for a long time,” she said. “I would probably say it’s my best moment.

New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde was forced to settle for silver after incurring a 10-second penalty

The pair shared a sporting moment after the news of Wilde’s penalty

“I don’t think there’s a chance in my life to do that again. Going into this year, that was my big goal. There’s a world title to play for, but for me I really needed it.”

While Wilde formally protested his 10-second penalty, Yee was unconcerned, even without that assistance he had three seconds on the Kiwi. When it was over, they hugged each other, which probably fits what they call the “Friendly Games”.

“We’re great friends on and off the course, so it’s really special to share moments like this with people,” Yee said.

“When we spoke almost at the end we said well done to each other. I said, ‘I’m sorry you got a penalty mate’ because everybody wants to see a sprint finish, everybody wants to see an exciting race. But there will be many more battles on the way.

Yee followed through the bike section of the race before roaring back into the race to claim gold

Together, their rivalry is already said to be one of the most compelling in triathlon in recent years, due to the fact that it was an accident caused by Wilde earlier this year that saw one of Yee’s heroes, Jonny Brownlee, missed the Games. here with injury As a training partner of both Jonny and retired double Olympic gold medalist Alistair, Yee achieved a certain level of revenge, not that he’s the type to see it that way.

Four hours later, Georgia Taylor-Brown, who won individual silver and team gold alongside Yee and Jonny Brownlee in Tokyo, was second again in the women’s triathlon. The 28-year-old was tied for the lead through the swim and cycle with Olympic champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda but wilted during the race.

She said: “I didn’t have my legs today. I felt flat all day so I’m really happy with the silver. I’m a bit bored of constantly coming second to Flora so we need to change that.” .

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