By Kent Gray/
Youri Keulen might have barged his way into pole-position for future T100 wildcards with his Singapore heroics but Kiwi Kyle Smith hopes he’s not too far behind on the wannabe grid after his own brave fight in the steamy conditions.

The Taupo 25-year-old made the most of a wildcard start in the second round of the T100 Triathlon World Tour with 5th place at Marina Bay.

Keulen claimed his maiden T100 victory with a bike attack and relentless run in the heat that had expert analyst Jan Frodeno comparing the Dutchman to the ‘Terminator’ during the live streaming coverage. American star Sam Long, in trademark Sam Long style, fought back from last out of the water to finish second despite a 30 second penalty for failing to put his swim kit in his T2 transition bin. Belgian Pieter Heemeryck rounded out the podium while Scotsman David McNamee ran down Smith at the death for 4th.

Keulen put so much effort into the win, he was hospitalised after collapsing at the finish line.

Smith wasn’t the only non-contracted athlete to quietly wonder if a Singapore wildcard might not be a poisoned chalice given the heat and humidity that come standard with racing in Southeast Asia.

It was a tough decision to accept the wildcard, Kyle, but does this vindicate the decision and set you up nicely for the rest of the season?

“Yeah, I just think it’s a good case point for wildcards in the future,” Smith told   

“We clearly came to the race to offer something and obviously Youri won and he’s a wildcard and Mika [German Mika Noodt] and myself, so there were three wildcards in the top six. So yeah, I think it’s good.

“Hopefully for me, it’s out of my control for the next races, but hopefully I put a good case forward for getting the wildcard in the future.”

Smith featured early in the swim with late replacement Josh Amberger, husband of women’s winner Ashleigh Gentle, before Aaron Royle took the lead and led into T1.

Noodt, Smith, Heemeryk and eventual retiree Alistair Brownlee [calf injury] were in the early mix on the bike before Keulen attacked and quickly put a minute into the chasers. The Dutchman never looked back.

For Smith and pretty much everyone else left in the fight, it was a case thereafter of just hanging tough in the heat.

“I’m still digesting that performance really, it was a bit of a slog all day,” Smith said.

“It’s a hard one when you come to a race like this because you really want to push and you really go hard but you have a governor on it, which is quite frustrating and it’s quite unsatisfying when you’re racing, but you just had to respect the conditions.

“I was probably most nervous to get a wildcard at this race just because the conditions are so brutal and they don’t usually favour me, but I really respected the heat, a lot of heat prep for this race and prepared as good as I could really.

“I just kept trudging forward. I didn’t feel like I could go hard but I also knew I just had to keep moving forward. I would [have liked] to have been hanging on for 4th place but Dave was just running super-fast in that last couple of Ks so fair enough to him.

Some trademark Smith humour followed.

“A Scotsman has no right to be running that fast in the heat but that’s alright…”

Singapore T100 – Men’s Results
1. Youri Keulen (NED) – 3:21:01
2. Sam Long (USA) – 3:22:38
3. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) – 3:23:30
4. David McNamee (SCO) – 3:26:03
5. Kyle Smith (NZL) – 3:26:57

Full results


Men’s Standings after Singapore:

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