Fresh off winning the Moolloolaba ITF World Cup race on Saturday, Kiwi triathlete Ryan Sissons then faced a race against time to return to New Zealand last night.

Sissons secured his 10th career win by beating out fellow Kiwi Hayden Wilde at the finish line to give his Olympic qualification chances a massive boost.

It wasn't until he was talking to reporters after the victory that he found out due to the coronavirus travel restrictions it would be touch and go to get back home in time to avoid 14 days of self-isolation.

"That was the first I had heard of it. Originally my flight was landing at 12.15am, so I would have missed the cut-off but thankful for Air New Zealand to change my flight to an hour earlier. So really hoping there are no delays," he told Radio Sport.


"This is the most stressful race to be honest because if I don't get home in time, I'm in trouble for a couple of weeks."

The cutoff point to arrive in New Zealand was extended an extra hour on Sunday to 1am today.

The result on the Gold Coast came at the perfect time for Sissons who is aiming to qualify for a third Olympic Games after a 33rd in London and a 17th four years ago in Rio.

"The situation as it is at the moment, just being able to race was a miracle and I knew that from the start and at this point of time, there is a lot of important races on for us as triathletes and especially for me trying to make the Olympic team. So I knew I had to make this race count," he told Radio Sport.

"I felt great all day. I had a real clear plan in my head as what I wanted to do and to achieve in this race and I just executed everything I needed to do."

Sissons and Wilde finished with the same time while fellow Kiwi Sam Ward was fifth and Tayler Reid in 12th for a strong showing for New Zealand.

"I've raced Sam a couple of times in some running races and he's been flying so I knew he was going to be one to beat. On the run together he made a few moves and I was able to follow and managed to have that last kick at the end to pip him on the line."

"I don't know what the next race will be and if there is another race before I'm able to show how good I am pre-selection for the Olympic Games. So it was important for me to race as best I can and essentially win the race to show I'm going in the right direction and that I deserve a chance."


In the women's race Andrea Hewitt was fourth with Ainsley Thorpe finishing ninth.