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Gavin and Aileen have nowhere to Hyde in testing triathlon

By Steven Beacom

Go to Hyde Park most days and you will see hundreds of tourists enjoying a leisurely stroll — tomorrow scores of men will be swimming, cycling and running as fast as they possibly can all around it, including Gavin Noble from Enniskillen.

The 31-year-old Fermanagh native won't be winning any medals but by becoming the first Irishman to qualify for the Olympic triathlon, he has already achieved much after being disappointed not to make the starting line in Beijing four years ago.

Noble and the rest of the field, which includes big Team GB gold medal hopes, brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, will begin tomorrow morning with a 1500m swim in Serpentine Lake before embarking on a gruelling 43km bike ride with a 10km run the last of the three disciples.

Noble follows fellow Northern Ireland triathlete Aileen Morrison into the Olympic arena after she was in the women's event on Saturday.

Lisburn-based Morrison was way behind the leaders — eight minutes and 28 seconds — placed 43rd out of 52 competitors after falling off her bike on a treacherous corner that also saw several others hit the deck. Blood dripped from her arm as she spoke afterwards.

“I slid and the wheel came out from under me. I was sore, but I was able to stand up. As long as I could go I would keep going, “ said Morrison, who was far from pleased with the attitude of some of her rivals, who refused to chase down the leading group.

“After I got back up I was in with a group where nobody wanted to do any work. I basically had a 40km time-trial on my own.”

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