Hayden Wilde beaten in sprint finish in World Triathlon Championship series event

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Hayden Wilde has made an impressive start to the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series, setting the pace on the run leg before settling for second in Yokohama, Japan.

It is the Kiwi star’s first podium on a WTCS event, setting him up nicely for a big 2022 which also includes the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July-August.

Wilde got into his work on the run, and it quickly became a two-horse race between the Olympic bronze medallist and the man who pipped him to silver in Tokyo last year, Britain’s Alex Yee.

Hayden Wilde has made a strong start to the WTCS.

Aaron Gillions/Photosport

Hayden Wilde has made a strong start to the WTCS.

Wilde was the pace setter for most of the run, Yee happy to settle in behind and let the Kiwi do all the work before he made his move about 200m from home, bursting past Wilde to claim top spot on the podium.

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Wilde crossed10 seconds behind Yee, with France’s Leo Bergere a further 19 seconds back in third.

The Kiwi was 45th after the first swim lap, 39th at the first transition, but wound into gear on the bike leg to set it up for his strength, the final run leg. Wilde has been running on the 5000m athletics circuit over summer and he showed his strength.

Hayden Wilde and Alex Yee had another great battle in Japan.

Bryan Keane/Inpho via Photosport

Hayden Wilde and Alex Yee had another great battle in Japan.

“Kudos to Hayden, he was lightening on the run, I had to summon every ounce of my being to get around him at the end,” Yee said.

“The first 5km Hayden really took it out, I was a little bit down on the transition and I had to work really hard to get back on, and at that point Hayden was really moving.

“He got me last weekend, I got him this weekend, it really sets up an exciting year.”

Wilde said it felt “great” to stand on a WTCS podium for the first time.

“It kinda felt like the Olympics again without big Kristian (Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt),” he said.

“I had to have a really good transition to get out on the run quick and just hit that first 5km run hard to put a bit of sting in Alex’s legs but I may have just burned a few too many matches for myself at the end. I just didn’t have that kick.”

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