Ireland’s first ever male triathlon representative at the Olympic Games, Gavin Noble exceeded all expectations after he came away with a 23rd place finish.
Noble got off to the perfect start rounding the first swim buoy in 5th position. He held his good form for the entire 1500 meters exiting the water within 25 seconds of the leader. A small group of 5 including pre race favourites the Brownlee brother and Gomez established a lead early on the bike leg. At the head of the 2nd pack Noble was working hard to cut the 20 second led.
After a number of kilometres Noble and the chase pack had managed to bridge the gap and continued to push on, destroying any chance for the medal contenders who missed the break.
Alistair Brownlee and a host of Russian athletes attempted to break away over the final kilometres but it was not to be and it would come down to a foot race.
Noble positioned himself well coming into T2 and had a clean and quick transition. Meanwhile the Brownlee brother along with the Spaniard, Gomez set off at a blister pace at the head of the field. Alistair was looking comfortable and continued to push the pace while this younger brother along with Gomez hung on.
Jonny was hit with a blow to his medal chances as it was confirmed he would have to serve a 15 second penalty for mounting his bike before the mount line in the first transition.
Alistair Brownlee’s relentless pace was too much for Gomez and he dropped back to a clear 2nd. Jonny served his penalty on the final lap of four but had enough of a gap to secure bronze ahead of Hauss and Vidal of France who finished 4th and 5th.
Alistair strolled over the line with the Union Jack aloft, his 29min 7sec 10,000m run destroying the field.
Noble hung on well over the run to claim a creditable 23rd position in a time of 1hr 49min 47secs, 3min 22sec off the winner but ahead of a number of big names.
Speaking to Will Downing after the race Noble said “I’m happy enough. It’s nice to give people something to shout about and be interested in.”
“It hasn’t been for anyone to get here and you don’t want to make excuses. You just do your best on the day.”
“There’s been so many people here supporting me, hopefully they’ve had a good day and I look forward to catching up with them later on.”