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Ireland’s Russell White accentuates the positives of his Olympic debut  in Japan


Russell White

Russell White

©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Russell White

Banbridge’s Russell White admitted he was proud but disappointed after he returned a time of 1:54:40 in the men’s triathlon to finish 48th.

It was nine minutes and 36 seconds behind winner Kristian Blummenfelt from Norway Team GB’s Alex Yee landed silver ahead of New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde — and left White disappointed with his time but, given the circumstances of his road to Tokyo, proud to have made his Olympic debut in Odaiba Marine Park.

“A month ago I wasn’t qualified for the Games and I still have to take a lot of pride in the fact I was here but obviously there is still disappointment that it wasn’t the performance I was looking for,” he said.

“I was on the back foot from the start, I didn’t get a great swim. I thought after the first lap that I could maybe bridge up to that main group but it sort of split with about 300 to go and I just didn’t get on good feet.

“It made for a gruelling bike in a small group and having to really work hard — not much draft, a lot of gaps. Sprinting out of all the corners in such a small group, it did burn the legs out for the run.

“I broke my collarbone in March 2020 so I probably wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for Covid. It’s been a struggle to recover from that over the lockdowns with no physio and no swimming pools.

“With qualification opening up at the very end, those last races were maybe too much to get me here.

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“I’m absolutely honoured to be here and compete for Ireland in the Olympic Games — but obviously, just not the performance I was looking for.”

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