Gibraltar just missed out on medals in Triathlon
It might have been six in the morning, the sun not yet out, but Eastern beach was a hive of activity. Organizers had already started to set up the course for the early Sunday morning’s triathlon. From 6.15 triathletes started to arrive as even more volunteers gathered loading supplies, pulling barriers into place and preparing the course.
Chris Walker and Robert Matto were among the first two members of Team Gibraltar arriving.
The 8am start will made this the first competitive sport of the Gibraltar2019 schedule.
It was described as the toughest course yet with a Hawaiian start. Swimmers would swim out complete a lap cone out of the water complete a short run and dive back into the sea again.
After a windswept opening ceremony Easter beach was a glorious Spring type day, not the not summer expected. This was not in Gibraltar’s favour but it made for better conditions for everyone.
There was some wind by the sea but little of the waves.
The 8am start saw the beach bus as one by one the men’s competitors lined up to start.
There were crowds on the beach cheering them on as the sun’s rays peered through the clouds to give a beautiful aura to the scene.
Gordon and Walker were to give the crowd that had gathered a further buzz as they stepped out of the water within the first four positions.
Young Vinales surprised as he stepped out not far behind setting off onto the cycle run.
This would take them to the Mosque and back several times in what was over an hour of cycling.
In between the women started their race, however there was now a big gap between the front pack and the rest.
Matto started his bike tentatively as his feet slipped on pedals, followed by
Juanma, Blagg sand Gomez. Gibraltar’s team was doing well as a unit and were in place to challenge for medals if they could keep up the tempo.
Cyclist were treated to a roaring crowd by the roadside cheering their teams on.
Andrew Gordon maintained his pace staying within the top pack.
As the men were approaching the finals laps of cycling the ladies started their own transition into the bike.
Richard Blagg took a tumble of his bike having to leave the race as Gordon continued apace in the top spots.
As the men entered the running transition expectations were still high with Andrew Gordon in fourth position.
O’Shea was the next in for Gibraltar with Matto and Walker and Vinales not that far back.
Gibraltar was aiming for a top three finish at least as a team.
Andrew Gordon maintained the pressure and in an incredible run finished in fourth place to the cheers of the crowd. Andrew collapsed at the finish needing assistance from paramedics on standby.
Lewis Gue had taken gold followed by Draper but it was Gordon, just outside the medals that took the most attention from the local support.
It’s was a tense wait for Gibraltar as the calculations of times were made.
The grueling race was taking its toll on athletes as they stopped collapsing or needing a assistance on finishing. The sunshine games arrived and the heat was coming down on Athletes.
Gibraltar was to end just outside the medals in fourth round place.