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Frodeno claims gold as Brits fade
19 Aug 2008 5:08 BST

A well-timed sprint from Jan Frodeno gave the German gold in a thrilling men's triathlon race on Tuesday.

He went clear with 50m to go to finish ahead of Canada's Simon Whitfield and New Zealand's Bevan Docherty, clocking one hour 48:53 seconds.

Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee had been among the leading group for much of the run before fading to 12th place.

Fellow Brit Will Clarke was two places behind Brownlee with Tim Don, suffering from a virus, failed to finish.

Don, who had hoped to among the medals in Beijing, was struggling with illness in the build-up to the race and withdrew early.

Whitfield looked to have time his sprint finish to perfection, breaking from a group that included Frodeno, Docherty and pre-race favourite Javier Gomez of Spain.

But Frodeno stuck with him and, with just 50m to the line, had the legs to out-sprint the Canadian to claim the gold.

"My advantage was that I wasn't one of the big favourites. They had all the media attention," said Frodeno.

"I knew this was going to be a tough race, the 10 km run was going to be the hardest of my life, but I just realised this is what I have been dreaming of, this is my only chance," he added.

It was a fitting end to a fantastic race in which Brit Brownlee more than played his part.

The 20-year-old set the agenda on the 40km bike ride after a hugely impressive swim and looked in contention for a medal as he initially formed a six-man breakaway group in the 10km run.

But he just did not have the legs to keep up with the experienced Frodeno, Whitfield, Docherty, Gomez and Ivan Rana, falling off the pace before crossing the line 86 seconds behind the winner.

"I got to 7km on the run and there was nothing left," said Brownlee. "I've got to find a way of getting 12 places better in time for London."

Clarke was always playing catch-up after a disappointing 1.5km swim in a race which was competed in blistering heat.

"I just didn't do it on the swim," he said. "I wasn't fast enough so I had to do too much on the bike and that meant I came to the run tired. I have to go back and do lots of work on my swimming."