Bailie 10th on Olympic Debut

Triathlon | Published: Fri 19 August 2016

Triathlon: Men’s Triathlon

Athlete: Ryan Bailie

Venue: Fort Copacabana

Training partners and Olympic debutants Aaron Royle and Ryan Bailie have given Australia its first dual top ten finishers in men’s triathlon history at Copacabana today.

Newcastle’s Royle hung on gamely for ninth and Bailie, the boy from Bunbury in WA, had to work from the chase pack on the bike after two critical moments to put himself in the race for 10th.


Brisbane’s Ryan Fisher, who has been battling a head cold for 48 hours, dug deep throughout to finish 24th in his first Olympics.


Australia’s best single performances at an Olympics have come from Greg Bennett (fourth in Athens 2004) and Miles Stewart (sixth in Sydney 2000).


But the latest brand of Olympic triathletes aren’t going away quickly – all three quick to commit to another four years for Tokyo 2020.


In 30 degree heat and over a brutal bike course the Australians fought hard to stay in touch with a field driven by two of triathlon’s all-time greats, eventual gold medallist, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee and brother Jonathan – who went on to win gold and silver in another extraordinary display.


Bronze went to South African youngster Henri Schoeman, who held on to beat fast-finishing countryman Richard Murray – who produced the fastest 10km run split of the day.


Royle was the first Australian out of the water in the swim, ensuring he was well inside the top 10 and while Bailie was not far behind but a bizarre hold up in the transition area cost him valuable time.


"Coming out of the water my helmet was not left on my bike how I left it in transition so it had obviously been knocked off and my buckle was done up,” said a frustrated Bailie.


"It obviously cost me a few seconds that can make the difference, one of those critical moments that you look back on and think ‘what if.’


"Then eventually on the bike I didn't have the legs to go with that first group.


"It was a second critical moment and I got dropped from the front group and that's pretty much the race up the road.


"It was just about trying get to minimise the damage and leave all out there on the run. I went out hard with Murray but got dropped at about 3ks, then it was a matter of soul searching and managing that pain.”

Bailie described Rio as an awesome course "a true triathlon course.”

"You've got to be able to swim fast, bike and run well if you want to medal. I think the organising committee need to be commended on creating a true triathlon course,” Bailie said.

"Tenth in my first Olympic Games; you've got to be pretty happy with that. Obviously you always want to win but I gave it my all on the day and I couldn't have done anything else.”