Andrea Hewitt raced bravely for her third consecutive top ten finish at an Olympic Games, coming home in 7th place in Rio this morning, with Nicky Samuels coming home 13th as the Kiwis did themselves and the sport of triathlon proud in front of huge crowds in Rio de Janeiro.

The gold was won by Gwen Jorgensen (USA) from London winner Nicola Spirig (SUI) and Vicky Holland (GBR), with the American winning a fascinating game of cat and mouse with Spirig as the two went toe to toe throughout the run, with Jorgensen putting the foot down on the final lap as she raced to gold.

Samuels and Hewitt executed strongly throughout the swim and bike legs, exiting the water near the front of the field having safely negotiated a decent swell off Copacabana Beach and then the eight laps on the bike.

Spirig was the only one to push the pace as she time and time again asked questions of the lead group but aside from dropping the odd rider off the back of what was initially a group of 22, the defending champion from London was unable to shake the leaders and 18 rode into T2 together.

Once on to the run Jorgensen and Spirig went about their work, moving clear of the chasers, with Hewitt and Samuels unable to respond as Sanford (GBR), Holland (GBR), Riveros (CHI) and Moffatt (AUS) the ones to form a chase pack in the battle for bronze.

Hewitt never game up though, it is simply not in the DNA of the Christchurch athlete and while the medal she has dedicated herself to may not have come, she added to her stellar career with a third top 8 finish at an Olympic Games while Samuels also held her form to the finish to come home in 13th place, leaving the Kiwis as the third nation behind Great Britain and Australia to have two athletes across the line.

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- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Triathlon New Zealand