Bronze medal for ‘Gizzy boy’ Tayler Reid

Great comeback from injury.

Great comeback from injury.

The mixed relay triathlon team of Tayler Reid (Gisborne), Andrea Hewitt, Ryan Sissons and Nicole van der Kaay with their bronze medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. AP pictures
It all rolls into one when you have just won a Commonwealth Games medal for your country, your team, your home town and your supporters. Gisborne triathlete Tayler Reid celebrates on the finish line with Ryan Sissons, Andrea Hewitt and Nicole Van Der Kaay (out of shot) after anchoring the New Zealand team to a bronze medal in the mixed team triathlon on the Gold Coast.

Triathlete Tayler Reid becomes the seventh Gisborne athlete to bring home a medal from the Commonwealth Games.

The 21-year-old did it in style, in an emotional finish-line climax to the New Zealand triathlon team’s campaign on the Gold Coast.

It has been hard to miss Reid at these Commonwealth Games.

It’s even harder to miss his fan club.

Reid’s supporters were in full regalia and voice on Saturday as he was part of a Kiwi team that won bronze in the mixed team triathlon.

Reid, a Games favourite for his curly blonde locks, held off the challenge of Canada’s Matthew Sharpe to clinch third place for New Zealand behind victors Australia and silver medallists England.

That was after an impressive start from Nicole Van Der Kaay and two brilliant run legs by Ryan Sissons and Andrea Hewitt opened up a gap in third place.

Reid produced a huge effort in the men’s individual event on the opening day of the Games when he was second out of the water and led out on the run before he admitted his legs gave out as he slipped back to 11th.

Gizzy boy made sure the bronze did not slip

What was he thinking before his turn this time?

“I was thinking this one is my forte.

“I only had one and a half kilometres and I thought my legs could hold on for that long, and they did, so I was stoked.”

Triathlon might be an individual sport, but the sight of Sissons screaming at his teammate at the end showed that this was a team hunting for silverware, and “the Gizzy boy” made sure the bronze did not slip.

Sissons admitted it was tough after finishing the second leg, then watching his teammates take over the hunt for the podium.

“It’s pretty scary. You’re sitting on the sideline,” Sissons said of the unfamiliar feeling. “We had full faith in Tayler, he absolutely killed that last leg.

“We set ourselves up from the very start and we knew we were in the game. We left it to the Gizzy boy to finish it off — it was awesome.”

Reid praised his teammates.

“Everyone executed great races, everyone gave everything they could. Andrea was great in giving me a gap, and Ryan and Nicole set us up really well. Everyone raced to their potential, which was all we could do.

“We think a lot about tactics before, with positioning, what position everyone starts. We try to match strengths and weaknesses to other teams and how we feel we could best push for a medal.”

Reid's support crew sported blonde wigs

Reid said he loved his support crew, who sported curly blonde wigs and black T-shirts with his name on them.

“I’m so lucky. I have such a big family and they love what I do — I’m so lucky they come and support me like they have.

“My family’s massive — I think I have like 20-plus, close to 30 here, all extended family. My mum, my step-dad, my dad and step-mum — they’ve all helped me so much to get to this point.

“I’m not sure who was responsible for the wigs. I heard about it the night before — they wanted to ask if it was OK.

“I was all for it — it was pretty cool. I could spot them easily in the crowd.

Reid predicts a big future for the team format.

“I definitely hope so. It brings so much excitement.

“Individual racing goes out the window and anything can happen. Definitely we’ll see a lot more of these in the future.”

Reid also looks to have a big future — he’s not sure yet what that immediately holds.

“It’s just been real tunnel vision all the way to the Gold Coast. By the end of the week I’ll have an idea — I’m looking to be back here again in September for the world champs.”

Expect the support crew to be there too.

Tayler Reid joins six other Gisborne athletes to have won Commonwealth Games medals.

Peter Henderson wonze a bronze medal in the 4 x 110 yards relay on the athletic track at Auckland in 1950.

Chris White won a silver medal in the rowing coxed fours at Edinburgh in 1986.

Rico Gear won a gold medal in the rugby sevens at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Shane Cameron won a heavyweight boxing bronze at Manchester in 2002.

Hosea Gear won a rugby sevens gold in Delhi in 2010.

Perth-based Darcina Manuel won bronze in the under-57kg weight judo class in Glasgow in 2017.

Reid a favourite at the Commonwealth Games

Reid has become a favourite with Kiwi supporters at the games, with his blonde curly hair and his boisterous “Team Reid” supporters.

His success at the Games caps a remarkable comeback from the former Gisborne Boys’ High School student, who had pins inserted in his arm after being hit by a car while training in 2016.

“It was a pretty bad injury at the time but he was aways determined to get over it,” said a very emotional and proud mum Jackie.

“Tayler and Stephen Sheldrake (Reid’s coach) have worked hard for a number of years now and it has paid off.

“Team Reid and everyone at home watching the race were all so proud of him but I don’t mind admitting I was a nervous wreck watching the race.

“People around me were pointing at me in the stands. I was shaking with a mixture of nerves, excitment and nausea.

“But when he hit the blue carpet, I knew he would get a medal and that’s when the tears started and just kept coming.”

Before Team Reid could get to their hero, there was the small matter of a drug test.

“He was able to come out, accompanied by an official and have a quick chat with us, which was neat.

“We were then all invited back to New Zealand house, which was great.”

Reid arrives back in Gisborne on Friday “to attend a wedding on Saturday”.

Triathlete Tayler Reid becomes the seventh Gisborne athlete to bring home a medal from the Commonwealth Games.

The 21-year-old did it in style, in an emotional finish-line climax to the New Zealand triathlon team’s campaign on the Gold Coast.

It has been hard to miss Reid at these Commonwealth Games.

It’s even harder to miss his fan club.

Reid’s supporters were in full regalia and voice on Saturday as he was part of a Kiwi team that won bronze in the mixed team triathlon.

Reid, a Games favourite for his curly blonde locks, held off the challenge of Canada’s Matthew Sharpe to clinch third place for New Zealand behind victors Australia and silver medallists England.

That was after an impressive start from Nicole Van Der Kaay and two brilliant run legs by Ryan Sissons and Andrea Hewitt opened up a gap in third place.

Reid produced a huge effort in the men’s individual event on the opening day of the Games when he was second out of the water and led out on the run before he admitted his legs gave out as he slipped back to 11th.

Gizzy boy made sure the bronze did not slip

What was he thinking before his turn this time?

“I was thinking this one is my forte.

“I only had one and a half kilometres and I thought my legs could hold on for that long, and they did, so I was stoked.”

Triathlon might be an individual sport, but the sight of Sissons screaming at his teammate at the end showed that this was a team hunting for silverware, and “the Gizzy boy” made sure the bronze did not slip.

Sissons admitted it was tough after finishing the second leg, then watching his teammates take over the hunt for the podium.

“It’s pretty scary. You’re sitting on the sideline,” Sissons said of the unfamiliar feeling. “We had full faith in Tayler, he absolutely killed that last leg.

“We set ourselves up from the very start and we knew we were in the game. We left it to the Gizzy boy to finish it off — it was awesome.”

Reid praised his teammates.

“Everyone executed great races, everyone gave everything they could. Andrea was great in giving me a gap, and Ryan and Nicole set us up really well. Everyone raced to their potential, which was all we could do.

“We think a lot about tactics before, with positioning, what position everyone starts. We try to match strengths and weaknesses to other teams and how we feel we could best push for a medal.”

Reid's support crew sported blonde wigs

Reid said he loved his support crew, who sported curly blonde wigs and black T-shirts with his name on them.

“I’m so lucky. I have such a big family and they love what I do — I’m so lucky they come and support me like they have.

“My family’s massive — I think I have like 20-plus, close to 30 here, all extended family. My mum, my step-dad, my dad and step-mum — they’ve all helped me so much to get to this point.

“I’m not sure who was responsible for the wigs. I heard about it the night before — they wanted to ask if it was OK.

“I was all for it — it was pretty cool. I could spot them easily in the crowd.

Reid predicts a big future for the team format.

“I definitely hope so. It brings so much excitement.

“Individual racing goes out the window and anything can happen. Definitely we’ll see a lot more of these in the future.”

Reid also looks to have a big future — he’s not sure yet what that immediately holds.

“It’s just been real tunnel vision all the way to the Gold Coast. By the end of the week I’ll have an idea — I’m looking to be back here again in September for the world champs.”

Expect the support crew to be there too.

Tayler Reid joins six other Gisborne athletes to have won Commonwealth Games medals.

Peter Henderson wonze a bronze medal in the 4 x 110 yards relay on the athletic track at Auckland in 1950.

Chris White won a silver medal in the rowing coxed fours at Edinburgh in 1986.

Rico Gear won a gold medal in the rugby sevens at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Shane Cameron won a heavyweight boxing bronze at Manchester in 2002.

Hosea Gear won a rugby sevens gold in Delhi in 2010.

Perth-based Darcina Manuel won bronze in the under-57kg weight judo class in Glasgow in 2017.

Reid a favourite at the Commonwealth Games

Reid has become a favourite with Kiwi supporters at the games, with his blonde curly hair and his boisterous “Team Reid” supporters.

His success at the Games caps a remarkable comeback from the former Gisborne Boys’ High School student, who had pins inserted in his arm after being hit by a car while training in 2016.

“It was a pretty bad injury at the time but he was aways determined to get over it,” said a very emotional and proud mum Jackie.

“Tayler and Stephen Sheldrake (Reid’s coach) have worked hard for a number of years now and it has paid off.

“Team Reid and everyone at home watching the race were all so proud of him but I don’t mind admitting I was a nervous wreck watching the race.

“People around me were pointing at me in the stands. I was shaking with a mixture of nerves, excitment and nausea.

“But when he hit the blue carpet, I knew he would get a medal and that’s when the tears started and just kept coming.”

Before Team Reid could get to their hero, there was the small matter of a drug test.

“He was able to come out, accompanied by an official and have a quick chat with us, which was neat.

“We were then all invited back to New Zealand house, which was great.”

Reid arrives back in Gisborne on Friday “to attend a wedding on Saturday”.

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