Sil­ver lin­ing for Wil­liams in women’s roa a

Sunday News - - RUGBY - LIAM HYSLOP ON THE GOLD COAST

GEORGIA Wil­liams sur­prised her­self with her sil­ver-medal sprint in the Com­mon­wealth Games road race.

The 24-year-old na­tional road race cham­pion claimed sec­ond in a sprint fin­ish on the Gold Coast yes­ter­day, un­able to match the speed of Aus­tralia’s Chloe Hosk­ing to the fin­ish line.

Wil­liams said sprint fin­ishes was not her strength, so she was sur­prised she was able to stick with Hosk­ing till the end.

‘‘I’m not nor­mally a sprinter and, with 2km to go, I just wanted to hold my po­si­tion. But at the end, with ev­ery­one cheer­ing, I just knew I had to go for it and put ev­ery­thing I had left into it.

Adding to her sur­prise was the sense of un­known en­ter­ing the race after strug­gling with ill­ness in the weeks be­fore­hand.

‘‘I’ve ac­tu­ally been quite sick the last three weeks. I had bron­chi­tis three weeks ago and I’ve been strug­gling to re­cover from that. Then also hav­ing the pres­sure of need­ing to train. So I’m even more sur­prised with how I felt to­day.’’

Wil­liams’ team-mate, Shar­lotte Lu­cas, just missed bronze, fin­ish­ing a length be­hind Wales’ Danielle Rowe. Linda Vil­lum­sen was the next best Kiwi in 12th.

The 112.2km race was con­trolled through­out by the strong Aus­tralian team.

Com­ing into the last of the six laps, New Zealand still had five riders in the lead­ing bunch of 30, with only Bry­ony Botha dropped.

The Aus­tralians put the ham­mer down on the front and had re­duced the lead­ing group to 12 with 10km to go.

Wil­liams twice at­tacked in the fi­nal 9km, but all her moves were cov­ered by the Aus­tralians.

One of those moves split the lead­ing bunch, leav­ing Wil­liams on her own against four Aus­tralians and two Welsh riders for a time, but Vil­lum­sen and Lu­cas man­aged to get them­selves

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