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Brits take positives despite disqualification

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Olympic medallist Vicky Holland secured bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Test Event after team-mates Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown were disqualified on the finish line.

Olympic medallist Vicky Holland secured bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Test Event after team-mates Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown were disqualified on the finish line.

The British team showcased their strength in the heat to have all five British athletes in the top 11 finishers. Learmonth and Taylor-Brown were side-by-side throughout the race and were disqualified for holding hands on the finish as they crossed the line in first and second place.

At the start of the race, Learmonth took the swim out hard and at the halfway point she was swimming alongside Katie Zaferes (USA) and Maya Kingma (NED) until the second lap where the Brit broke away.

The Leeds-based athlete left T1 in the lead and put herself in a strong position for the bike leg. The Brit was caught by the chase pack with six laps to go. Taylor-Brown was part of the chase pack and kept herself in contention throughout the first couple of laps.

The lead pack, which featured both British athletes, was reduced to six athletes with three laps of the bike leg to go and held a lead of 40 seconds.

Holland was alongside Non Stanford and Sophie Coldwell in the chase pack and the Brits remained in contention after T2.

Taylor-Brown and Learmonth exited T2 in charge of the race and spread out the lead pack and crossed the finish line in first and second place.

Holland excelled in the 5km run to pull herself up through the field to get to fifth place and on to the podium after the disqualifications.

“It’s wasn’t the set of circumstances that you want when you win a medal but you have to play to what’s given to you and I’ve come out with a third place finish,” Holland said. “I really feel for Jess and Georgia because they raced exceptionally well today and I feel like they absolutely smashed it and deserved the first and second finish.

“I felt really good on the run. I would have liked to have run the full 10km as I think that would have played to my strengths and I just felt better and better as the run went on.

“I feel like we were probably the best prepared team coming here today and the heat prep seemed to make us all fitter which was shown in the results. I think we all finished in the top 11 which is great.”

Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon National Performance Director, said: “I think we can take a lot of positives out of the performance of our athletes today. They all coped with the conditions well and I think each one raced to the best of their ability and I want to thank the support staff for their hard work in ensuring the athletes were as prepared as possible.

“It’s obviously disappointing to have Jess and Georgia disqualified but it’s a testament to the depth of our female squad that we still have another athlete on the podium. What the athletes delivered today has told us a lot ahead of next year and to have five athletes in the top 11 is great.”

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