Docherty misses medal set in Games farewell

JONATHAN MILLMOW IN LONDON
Last updated 05:01 08/08/2012
New Zealander's Bevan Docherty and Kris Gemmell hug each other after finishing 12th and 15th respectively in the men's triathlon at the London Olympics.
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
IN THE PACK: New Zealander's Bevan Docherty and Kris Gemmell hug each other after finishing 12th and 15th respectively in the men's triathlon at the London Olympics.
Bevan Docherty
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
BEVAN DOCHERTY: Old triathletes don't die. They just turn to ironman.

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Bevan Docherty has wound up his Olympic career with a respectable 12th placing in the men's triathlon in Hyde Park this morning.

The 35 year-old Taupo athlete was chasing the full set of Olympic medals after a silver in Athens and a bronze in Beijing, but gold was never a reality in a race dominated by the sport's three big guns.

Great Britain's Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan finished first and third, respectively, with Spain's Javier Gomez sandwiched in between.

Docherty led the Kiwi effort, 2mins 10sec behind Brownlee (1hr 46min 25sec), while Kris Gemmell was 15th at 2min 27sec and Ryan Sissons 33rd at 4min 02sec.

"I wanted to complete the set of medals but the sport is getting faster and the three guys at the front are dominating," Docherty said.

"At the end of the day, given where I am, the course and everything, I gutsed it out and I'm relatively happy."

Docherty and Gemmell exited the 1500m swim leg in the Serpentine together and were soon part of a 22 strong group that scooted seven times around a 6km bike circuit, that took riders out at Hyde Park corner and down Constitution Hill past Buckingham Palace and back.

Gemmell had the honour of leading the field into the final transition, but then it became a running race and the Brownlee brothers and Gomez were gone in the blink of an eye.

"At that point in time you cross your fingers, hoping you have that ping in your legs," Docherty said.

"I've been struggling with my running form.  I am super fit but I was just hoping my running form came on but it didn't.

"But in terms of the race, I gave it everything, I gutsed it out and I have no regrets."

Just like the women's triathlon three days ago, the Hyde Park failed to test the mettle of the athletes. While it is spectator friendly it lacks challenges to break up the field and turns the event into a virtual foot race.

Little wonder then that the first 11 finishers broke the Olympic record of 1hr 48min 24sec.

Docherty was 11 seconds outside it.

"In terms of showcasing the sport it was fantastic but me personally I prefer a more difficult course," Docherty said.

"Eight years ago in Athens, with that super difficult bike and that heat, that course played to my strengths.

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"It was always going to be against me. I'm a bit of diesel engine these days and it was a formula one type race course so I'm relatively happy with 12th. I gave it everything out there and it is with it is."

Docherty waved to the ground as he came down the finishing chute, then stood beyond the finish line to greet Gemmell.

Docherty, nicknamed 'Mr Consistency', took no delight in being the first Kiwi home.

"The Olympics is all about winning medals, no one cares when you are off the podium."

Gemmell was content with his placing. The 35 year-old from Palmerston North didn't want to die wondering and certainly made his presence felt on the bike leg.

He lost half a dozen seconds in the final transition when a rival "whacked" his bike but otherwise the race went to plan.

"I'm happy," Gemmell said.

"I had a go. I didn't just sit in the (cycle) group. I tried to get away three or four times. One time I thought we were half a chance but...

"I gave myself a chance at least. I didn't expect to go head-to-head with the Brownlee's, I said that before the race."

Sissons had "a terrible swim'' and "got beat-up at the second buoy''.

"I ended up being underneath the buoy. I tried to come back up but there were people swimming on top of me. Pretty much from then on, it was always going to be a struggle being back in that pack.

"I could see Kris and Bevan were up ahead so there was no point in me chasing or doing anything silly, so I just sat in.''

Sissons said he "didn't really fire'' on the run _ traditionally his strongest phase.  "It was a pretty average race for me but it was a great experience and I suppose that's what it's all about.''

- Fairfax Media

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