BOP Olympian wins NZ‘s first Tokyo medal
Whakatāne’s Hayden Wilde has won New Zealand’s first medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games after picking up bronze in the men’s individual triathlon event.
The 23-year-old was always considered an outside bet regarding a medal win at the Games but he produced the performance of a lifetime to get over the line in 1.45.24.
Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt won gold whilst Great Britain’s Alex Yee took silver but the Bay of Plenty athlete’s superb running leg saw him take home a well-earned bronze.
New Zealand’s first medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games!#BRONZE for Hayden Wilde in the Men’s Individual Triathlon!— The New Zealand Team (@TheNZTeam) July 25, 2021
A performance of a lifetime #EarnTheFern well and truly #Earned#KoTātauTeKapaOAotearoa#WeAreTheNZTeam #Olympics pic.twitter.com/e7xN5Ibpev
Coached by Tauranga-based Craig Kirkwood, who also coaches Tauranga’s 1500m representative Sam Tanner, Wilde went into the Games as an outside bet for a medal after some impressive recent performances.
He even led at one period in the final stages before his rivals managed to eke away.
Wilde then showed true Olympic spirit by helping a struggling Blummenfelt off the course after the race, with the Norwegian eventually needing a wheelchair.
The former Trident High School student joins the likes of Hamish Carter and Bevan Docherty as a New Zealand triathlon medalist.