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By Josh Graham in Birmingham
England’s Georgia Taylor-Brown complained of feeling “flat” after settling for Commonwealth Games silver in the women’s triathlon behind Bermuda’s Flora Duffy in a repeat of Tokyo 2020.
Manchester-born Taylor-Brown was unable to follow in the golden footsteps of Alex Yee - who she will join in Sunday’s mixed triathlon after he won the men’s race - and was powerless to stop long-time rival Duffy from retaining her title, literally bowing down at the finish line after finishing 41 seconds behind her.
Scotland’s Beth Potter was a surprise leader out of the swim and although she eventually claimed her country’s first medal of the Games with bronze, Duffy and Taylor-Brown attacked on the bike to turn it into a two-horse race between familiar protagonists.
But Taylor-Brown, who is one of more than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support, so often a steely serene presence on the final leg, was looking over her shoulder instead of making inroads on Duffy and said: “I’m feeling a bit flat today but even on a good day, it’s hard to keep up with Flora.
“She’s a super runner and I know that because I’ve been beaten by her many times. I just didn’t have it today.
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“I worked as hard as I could on the bike to give her whatever I had in me and I knew I wanted to get as much of a gap as possible and I think we worked pretty hard there. I knew I was probably going to suffer on the run because of that.
“I didn’t think I would suffer as much as I did. I gave it my best shot, I dug deep and I found a little bit extra to get me up the hills.
“Sometimes you have those days in the month where you are just a bit flat and not as much energy as you’d like to have but that's what being a girl is.
“I’m very happy with a silver medal at my first Commonwealth Games so I can’t be disappointed there.”
Taylor-Brown took second at the World Series event in Leeds last month ahead of teammate Sophie Coldwell, who was unable to replicate her bronze medal here after agonisingly finishing fourth.
And Taylor-Brown revealed another vocal home crowd at Birmingham’s Sutton Park gave her goosebumps as they roared her, Coldwell and 12th-place finisher Sian Rainsley around the course.
She said: “The home crowd were incredible. I had goosebumps on the bike, especially being in the breakaway, that was just so special. They were relishing in that, they were loving it.
“My family were dotted all over the course, I saw a few of them on the final run corner, so that was nice. The crowd were absolutely incredible.”
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