American Williams grabs bronze
ATHENS, Greece -- Hamish Carter knew what he was up against when he and Bevan Docherty came down the stretch together in the Olympic triathlon.
"I thought, 'He's beaten me too many times over the last couple of years,' '' Carter said.
Carter pulled away from Docherty on the final lap of the swim-cycling-run event Thursday, giving New Zealand a gold and silver finish.
Sven Riederer of Switzerland got the bronze after fading from the pack of leaders toward the end.
Carter, Docherty and Riederer were packed together toward the end of the endurance race that begins with a 1.5 kilometer swim, goes immediately to a 40-kilometer bike race and then a 10-kilometer run. During the last three kilometers of the run finale, the New Zealanders pulled away, turning it into a two-man race.
Docherty fell off the pace in the final minute, and Carter won in a time of 1 hour, 51 minutes, 7.73 seconds. Carter beat Docherty, the reigning world champion, by 7.87 seconds.
"I felt relatively in control throughout the race,'' Carter said. "I was definitely having a good day.''
Carter finished 26th in Sydney in 2000, but his form has been peaking lately. He won the 2003 Corner Brook World Cup.
"Hamish had a fantastic day and he deserved the gold,'' Docherty said.
Among Americans, Hunter Kemper of Longwood, Fla., finished ninth, saying he just couldn't find his cycling legs.
Andy Potts of Princeton, N.J., finished 22nd, but he led the field after the swim. Potts, who was on the U.S. national team in swimming from 1995-1997, was the first athlete to enter the transition stage between the 1.5-kilometer swim and the 40-kilometer cycling leg.
"What a rush,'' he said. "It just adds to the experience.''
Victor Plata of Santa Cruz, Calif., finished 27th.
Britain's Marc Jenkins was last to finish, but he earned some of the loudest cheers of the day. He refused to drop out after a mechanical problem with his bicycle, and he carried and rolled the bike up a steep hill until he finally found help.
"I think it's indicative of triathlon,'' Carter said. "Every athlete is very driven.''
Carter collapsed in a heap after crossing the finish line, but Docherty arrived carrying a New Zealand flag a few seconds later and helped him up.
"Two Kiwis on the podium -- how amazing is that?'' Carter said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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