Hamish Carter wins Gold, Athens 2004

The omens weren’t promising on the swim when Carter emerged from the water 33rd and Docherty 17th. The 40km bike leg was pivotal. Carter and Docherty got on to a leading bunch of six that put more than half a minute on the field.

It was a gruelling, hilly course and severely tested the riders, but Carter seemed to do it comfortably. Into the run and the front group of six soon became three, the New Zealanders and the Swiss, Sven Riederer. Carter and Docherty handled the heat well, surging and looking strong, while Riederer’s head swayed from side to side. Finally, with one kilometre remaining, the New Zealanders opened the throttle and the Swiss could not respond.

Carter and Docherty had the gold and silver to themselves. It was a spine-tingling moment. Now it was just a matter of who would win. Most money would have been on Docherty. He was younger – 27 to 33 – and his recent results were better. But Carter picked this day, after a 12-year international career, to have the race of his life finishing in 1h 51min 07.73s.

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