England’s Alex Yee has won the first gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, taking victory in the men’s triathlon.
Yee chased down Hayden Wilde to clinch victory in 50 minutes 34 seconds, beating the New Zealander by 13 seconds with Australia’s Matthew Hauser three seconds further back.
Wilde had been hit by a 10-second penalty, which cost him dear after leading heading into the 5km run.
Yee described his win as “my greatest achievement ever”, adding: “It’s the first time I’ve been able to race in front of my parents for a long time at a major Games.
“I’m just happy. It’s bizarre it’s me that’s doing this and I can feel extremely grateful to be in this situation.
“I feel proud to be a triathlete today, to see so many different nations who I’ve never raced before and who are doing triathlon for the first time.
“It’s just wicked. Really proud of the guys in my team, they helped me.
“This is my first Commonwealth Games, just soaking it up. Thousands of people were out on the course and I just wanted to enjoy it.
The 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 medal of the Games goes to @TeamEngland in the men's triathlon! 🥇
— Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22) July 29, 2022
Yee revealed it was vital that he did not panic as he closed in on Wilde and picked his moment to make his attack.
He added: “I just wanted to stay as calm as possible and run my own race.
“I wanted to make sure there was plenty in my legs when I got there.
“It was weird with the hills. It felt like an eternity chasing him. It was on the final hill when I made big inroads.”
Yee was aware of the penalty for the New Zealander and said: “I saw the number one and realised it was Hayden. You don’t want to see the race determined by something technical.
“I think there will be many more battles (with Wilde) on the way.
“I have a lot of time for Hayden, he’s a great competitor. But we are good friends off the course.”