Sian Rainsley found the going tough at the AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds but is hoping her 15th-place finish is enough to bag an "insane" spot at the Commonwealth Games.
Rainsley made her World Series debut in Leeds last year after a late call-up, finishing 13th, and arrived this time around in fourth place in the standings.
She improved slightly on her 16th-place finish in Yokohama in May and now faces a nervous wait to see if she will this week be part of Team England in Birmingham alongside the already-selected Georgia Taylor-Brown and Sophie Coldwell, who finished second and third on Saturday behind France's Cassandre Beaugrand.
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"I found it really, really hard. That was way harder than I expected," explained Rainsley, 25, who lives in Leeds with long-term partner and fellow triathlete Tom Bishop, who finished 33rd in the men's race.
"I did the Olympic distance last year and I think it kept a bit more of a lid on the pace going up the hill, so going up there was hard work.
"The swim is always a bit of carnage, everyone is everywhere. I could tell I was sort of towards the front, so that was alright.
"The [Commonwealth Games] decision is made on Tuesday, so it's just fingers crossed and hope - it's down to the selectors now.
"It would be insane, I'm from Coventry which is literally down the road, so I'd love that if it was possible. There would be lots of friends and family there for sure."
This year's course at Roundhay Park was shortened to the sprint distance to accommodate Sunday's mixed relay, the first time the city has staged the team discipline, and included an immediate intimidating climb on the bike.
And Rainsley paid particular credit to the familiar faces in the crowd that helped her grit her teeth and finish a gruelling race.
She added: "Running through past the crowd in turn one was really cool.
"The crowds definitely kept me going on that bike and run, it was just hard the whole way.
"The atmosphere is amazing and I could pick out where my friends and family were with their banners and stuff. They are definitely a massive help."
Coldwell matched her third-place from 12 months ago in Leeds but despite leading for large parts of the race, she was unable to hold off the charge from compatriot and Olympic silver medallist Taylor-Brown, and Rainsley lauded the duo as great role models for the rest of the British squad.
She said: "Those girls are so strong and we are really fortunate to have such good seniors to look up to. It's always good getting Brits on the podium in front of a home crowd."
The AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Leeds made its return to the city for the sixth time and if you've been inspired to take part visit https://www.britishtriathlon.org/get-involved/what-is-triathlon
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