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Triathlete Hayden Wilde wins NZ's first Olympic medal

New Zealand has won its first medal at this year's Tokyo Olympics with Hayden Wilde winning bronze in the men's triathlon.

Wilde established himself as a contender after relatively quiet 1.5km swim swim and 40km cycling legs, sitting in the leading group as they entered the 10km run.

The 23-year-old was running alongside Great Britain's Alex Yee, the USA's Kevin McDowell and Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt at the front of the running group for much of the final leg.

Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway lies on the ground wrapped in the finish line tape after winning the gold medal, as silver medal winner Alex Yee of Great Britain hugs bronze medalist Hayden Wilde of New Zealand during the men's individual triathlon at the 2020 Summer Olympics Source: Associated Press

Yee then began to push the tempo on the second lap, challenging those in the leading group to come with him which Wilde and Blummenfelt managed to do.

British veteran Jonny Brownlee then started to come into the picture but struggled to rein in the leading trio, who were taking turns sharing the lead.

Midway through the final lap, Blummenfelt made his move to break away from the other two, pushing through visible pain to build an impressive and unobtainable lead, winning gold in a time of 1:45:04.

Yee took silver nine seconds later with Wilde close behind at 1:45:24; the trio embracing at the finish after Yee and Wilde lifted up the collapsed Norwegian from the finish line.

An emotional Wilde told Sky Sport after shedding a few tears what this morning's triumph meant to him.

“I am pretty happy. It was a good to get a medal back in triathlon,’' Wilde said.

“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.

“Yeah, it is pretty unreal. I have been in sport for nearly four years. So it is a dream come true.’’

Fellow Kiwi Tayler Reid finished 17th and was quick to counsole his tearful teammate.

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