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
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,''
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.