SA’s Riddle shines on Commonwealth debut, ‘proud’ in 6th place: ‘I gave it all’ | Sport

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South African triathlete Jamie Riddle says he is honored after his Top 10 finish in the men’s triathlon event at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The country’s hopes were for 2018 Commonwealth gold medalist Henri Schoeman, but the star athlete withdrew before the start of the race.

Team SA stated that Schoeman was equipped to prepare for Sunday’s mixed relay, but he is struggling with a recurring ankle injury.

However, it was time for Riddle and Dillon Nortje to shine for South Africa in the 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run in Sutton Park.

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22-year-old Riddle made his presence known from the start as he led after the first turn and then took third after the bike ride.

It was during the sprint where Riddle phased out when England’s Alex Yee took gold, with Kiwi Hayden Wilde and Australian Matthew Hauser on the podium.

Riddle finished sixth in his Commonwealth debut in a time of 51:32 – 58 seconds behind Yee.

“I feel really proud and honored. The Commonwealth has such great significance and I felt it today. I represented my country in the best way I could and gave it my all,” said Riddle.

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“I hope I got the guys going and I think it will boost the triathlon sport and that’s the most important part. There’s a beginning and an end like life, and you go through a lot of ups and downs, so It’s a cool message as a sport.”

Nortje finished 21st when he crossed the finish line in 54:12.

However, there are still the Mixed Relays for Sunday, with Schoeman already taking his place and Riddle likely to join in.

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“It’s two different races and you really come together as a team,” said Riddle.

“You’re trying to use that South African spirit to come out on the day and bring something completely up to your level in the team atmosphere.”

Meanwhile, in Friday’s women’s triathlon race, Simone Ackermann finished as the best placed South African as she finished 15th, compatriots Shanae Williams 20th and Hannah Newman 21st.

The mixed relay triathlon is scheduled for Sunday at 2:31 PM SA time.

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