Tweed Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Steve Vi­vian­vian@tweed­dai­

AN “ab­so­lutely shat­tered” Bill Chaffey has no doubt that, if not for the heavy crash, he would have won gold in last week­end’s Com­mon­wealth Games Para Triathlon.

In the im­me­di­ate wake of the crash, Tweed’s five-time world cham­pion is deal­ing with scars both phys­i­cal and men­tal: cuts, scrapes, gauges, bruises and a lin­ger­ing re­gret over a “silly mis­take”.

Phys­i­cally, the over­rid­ing mem­ory of Chaffey’s tor­ment through the race is of a car­bon fi­bre rod digging into an ever deep­en­ing cut in his hand.

When Chaffey crashed his hand­cy­cle in the sec­ond leg of the race, one of the han­dles broke, leav­ing him to pro­pel his bike one-handed.

“I had a spike of car­bon fi­bre to hold onto, which kept digging in and cut­ting my hand, and I couldn’t get any pur­chase with the left hand,” Chaffey said.

“All the work was done with my right hand for eight kilo­me­tres.

“It would be sim­i­lar to ped­alling on a bike with one leg. It cost me a lot of speed.”

It’s no con­so­la­tion for an acutely self-re­flec­tive Chaffey, but the fact he got back on the bike at all is laud­able at the least, and re­mark­able at best.

Most ath­letes would have found it too hard to re­cover, but Bill has a rare re­solve.

De­spite the dis­ap­point­ment, Bill says he is proud.

“For an ath­lete that’s only go­ing out there to win, third place hurts a lot,” Chaffey said.

“When it’s caused be­cause of your own lack of judg­ment, that hurts even more.

“Bronze doesn’t taste as sweet as gold, but I’m still ap­pre­cia­tive of the fact I know I’m the third in the Com­mon­wealth, and third af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing crash like that, and still got back on.”


HUM­BLE: Bill Chaffey is reck­on­ing with his third place fin­ish at the Comm Games.

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