A CRASH ON the first lap of Aileen Morrison’s bike section scuppered the Derry woman’s navigation plans in this morning’s Olympic triathlon in Hyde Park.
Morrison crossed the line in 43rd position with a time of 2:08.16, nine minutes behind Nicola Spirig and Lisa Norden – who required a photo finish to determine that the gold should go to Spirig. Australia’s Erin Densham claimed the bronze medal.
In the immediate aftermath of the endurance race a tearful Morrison presented herself for interview, adrenaline temporarily numbing the pain in her hip and elbow.
“I came here to give it everything and I put in everything I had.
“So, I’m not disappointed, no. I did what I could.” The Derry woman told RTE Radio.
“OK, I would have liked to have a better swim, but it was what it was. I thought the girls we had in our group could have caught up. Unfortunately, on that corner where I came down it split the group a little and it slowed us down.”
Of the crash, she later added: ”I sort of slid and the wheel came out from under me. I was sore, but I was able to stand up in swing my leg over. As long as I could go I would keep going.”
That one corner of the cycling course proved treacherous for many competitors and as she gulped down the tears, Morrison expressed particular concern for Canadian Kathy Tremblay who, Morrison says, had the worst looking fall.
Morrison also paid tribute to the many Irish fans dotted amongst the crowds in London, but bemoaned the attitude of some of her counterparts. “They hung me out to dry,” she said of the group who had no interest in chasing down the top 20.
“After I got back up I got in with a group where nobody wanted to do any work. So I basically had a 40km time-trial on my own – I did what I could.”
Morrison has long said that her best effort was all she could give, and was not arriving in London expecting to medal. A late-comer to triathlon, she vowed to continue the good work that has taken her this far – she was the second Irish person to ever qualify for the Olympic triathlon.
“I’ve said all along that I have good races and bad races.” she added, “Maybe it’s a good thing that I’ve had bad races before this, because I could really be completely inconsolable if this was my first bad race.
“It wasn’t to be today. I will have good races again in the future. This isn’t going to dampen my spirits or (stop me) putting in every effort the next time.”