One of New Zealand's early success stories at the Commonwealth Games has revealed how he was abused by competitors mid-race over the strategy that almost saw him pull off a massive upset in the men's triathlon.
22-year-old Tayler Reid also claims he was nearly run off the road for his strategy during the 20km cycling leg of the gruelling event on Day 1 on the Gold Coast.
Gisborne-born Reid was one of the early race leaders - threatening a huge upset after finishing the swimming leg in second place.
His decision to sit in the leading pack of five on the bicycle, saw him cop abuse from unnamed opponents.
"On the bike I just sat in. I took a whole lot of abuse for doing that. It's not the way I usually race but I sucked it up, had some thick skin. And, yeah, just went for it on then run," Reid told TVNZ.
When pushed on the nature of the abuse, Reid said he "almost got ridden off the road once".
"Verbal abuse. But it's all part of it. I'll just take it. Take it on the chin. It happens."
He refused to reveal who was responsible for the abuse and for attempting to intimidate him on the bike.
"I don't want to say."
Reid eventually ran out of steam, finishing 11th with teammate Ryan Sissons the best-placed Kiwi in fifth.
Despite the run-ins, Reid said he enjoyed his first Commonwealth Games experience.
"I loved it. I don't want to race unless I'm in it. You might as well be in that top three or nowhere," he said, still gasping for breath. "I was hoping I could guts it out. I had some good patches but I had some really bad patches. I knew it would come at some point I was just hoping it would come later than it did.
"Even though it's an individual race you want to see your countrymen do the best they can as well that's what it's all about."
South African Henri Schoeman won gold in 52 minutes, 31 seconds – 18 seconds ahead of Sissons and a minute and 17 seconds ahead of Reid.