An emotional Hayden Wilde has dedicated his bronze medal-winning performance in this morning's men's triathlon at the Tokyo Olympics to his family and late father.
Wilde claimed New Zealand's first medal at this year's Games with an impressive running leg, finishing behind Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt and Great Britain's Alex Yee.
Moments after finishing the race, the 23-year-old burst into tears as he prepared for an interview with Sky Sport as the gravitas of the moment began to set in.
“I am pretty happy. It was a good to get a medal back in triathlon,’' Wilde said after wiping away his tears.
“It was great for my coaches. That was definitely for my family and my dad as well. He passed away 12 years ago and never got to see me race. So ... yeah. Cheers for everyone back home as well."
Wilde took up triathlon after becoming inspired while watching the event at the Rio Olympics five years ago.
“Yeah, it is pretty unreal. I have been in sport for nearly four years. So it is a dream come true.’’
Less than an hour after crossing the finish line, Wilde was down at the waterfront of Odaiba Marine Park to take part in the medal ceremony.
Wilde became the first New Zealander to experience putting an Olympic medal on themselves instead of being presented it - a precaution instilled at this year's Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
After Norway's national anthem played, Wilde then joined Blummenfelt and Yee for one last embrace on the top of the podium as the trio's flags blew in the wind.
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