Sam Dickinson revealed the part he played in Alex Yee’s Commonwealth Games triathlon gold was extra special as his full-time carer mum was able to get the day off to witness it.
Leeds’ Dickinson finished 19th at Birmingham’s Sutton Park but his industrious work on the bike helped the chasing pack featuring Yee trim the gap to the front three from 21 seconds down to 16 ahead of the second transition.
Ten years after Dickinson was inspired to take up the sport by Alistair Brownlee’s London 2012 triumph, the 25-year-old was himself the beneficiary of a vocal home crowd which included his mother who cares for his grandma with Alzheimers.
“My mum doesn’t get to see me race and to see her in the crowd was stunning, it has been emotional to see her in the grandstand,” said Dickinson, who struggled to contain his emotions at the finish line after Yee chased down New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde to win Team England’s first medal.
“My first experience was coming to watch in Manchester 20 years ago and it’s the Commonwealth Games but it’s just another triathlon, it’s our day job so treating it like that is exactly what we had to do.
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“When you’ve got an athlete like Alex Yee who can run as fast as he can, we all knew our job was to get a medal today.
“On the bike, we saw Hayden was about 20 seconds up the road and he [Alex] would’ve run for a medal but I wasn’t happy with bronze and I know Alex wouldn’t have been! We came here for gold, let’s be honest.
“I gave absolutely everything on that bike just to get him as close as possible. I was in a world of pain on the run.”
Dickinson admitted all the effort was worth it when he realised at the back end of his run that Yee had crossed the line in first after Wilde’s controversial 10-second penalty denied onlookers a scintillating sprint finish.
He said: “When I was running down the last kilometre and a couple of my mates on the course told me that we’d done it, oh you can’t understand the elation!
“I’m so happy for the guy to win gold on national television, hopefully inspiring the next generation, that was unreal.
“We didn’t know [about Hayden’s penalty] to be honest but that didn’t change anything. My job was to empty the tank and get Alex as close to the front as possible.
“I’m so happy for the guy, we’ve been racing since we were juniors, so I’m over the moon.”
Man of the moment, Yee, was equally effusive in his praise for Dickinson after he gave up any hopes of finishing higher up the field by leaving nothing back for the final leg over the sprint distance.
The new Commonwealth Games champion said: “Dicko definitely sacrificed his race for me and I was really appreciative of what he was doing.
“I feel hugely honoured for him to race for me and that I could honour his hard work by getting the win.”
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