Aileen Reid 21st at Rio Olympics

Aileen Reid Rio Finish Line 1

A brilliant 10km run saw Aileen Reid finish 21st overall in the Rio 2016 Women's Olympic Triathlon final.

Although Reid will be disappointed not to come within the top 10, the result banishes the memory of London 2012, when a crash-affected race saw Ireland's most successful triathlete come home in 43rd place.

Good Start

Reid started well in the Rio final, placing herself firmly in the middle of the pack during the 1,500m swim, which saw the best 55 triathletes in the world tackle waves and big seas off the shore of Copacabana beach.

Rio Women's Swim 3

Coming out of the water, Reid was placed in 31st just 18secs off the front of the race. However on the first lap of an eight lap bike course, the lead group began to splinter and Reid found herself falling off the back along with a number of other women, as a small group of athletes led by eventual silver medalist Nicola Spirig attacked on Rua proffesor Gastao Baiana - a short but aggressively steep hill. The 18pc gradient caused the race to splinter as more than 20 athletes, including Reid lost contact with the lead group.

Aileen Reid Rio Bike 2

Bike Splinters Field

With one lap completed, the gap was just 19secs but without an organised group to work with, Reid found herself caught between packs and by the half way point the gap had widened to 1min 54secs.

Having started the bike leg as one large, albeit string out group, the race was now taking shape, with 18 women moving away from the rest of the disorganised and slower moving field. 

Aileen Reid Rio Bike 1

Reid eventually found some allies to work with but with defending Olympic champion Spirig continuing to launch multiple attacks off the front of the lead group, the gap only continued to widen and by the time Reid reached T2, she and the women in her group were fighting it out for positions 18 to 55.

Aileen Reid Rio Finish Line 3  

Reid Turns Up The Pace

At this stage, Reid was placed 36th overall and it was on the 10km run that she was finally able to show her class as she overtook 15 other women running 35mins 48secs - the 9th quickest run split of the entire field.

Reid's incredible run split salvaged a highly respectable result from what could have been a disappointing day. She finished in 21st place with a time of 2hrs 1min 14secs.

Full Results and Splits from the Women's Olympic Triathlon