OVERTON’S Aaron Harris left Glasgow a happy man after finishing sixth in the triathlon at the Commonwealth Games.
The 26-year-old was unable to challenge for a medal, but certainly did himself justice during the race, finishing less than two minutes after winner Alistair Brownlee and only 10 seconds behind fourth place.
Harris said: “I would certainly have taken sixth if you had offered it to me at the start. I just wanted to perform to my potential, and I did that.
“I was happy to finish in the top 10 and I was not far off fourth, but I don’t think I could have got on the podium even if I had an amazing day.”
Harris’ England teammates, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, dominated the race from start to finish, but the former Testbourne Community School pupil kept in touch during the swimming section.
He was 12th, 41 seconds behind the leaders, after the 1,500m swim and part of the second group during the 40km cycling section.
Harris began the final discipline, a 10km run, in seventh place, 1min 08sec behind the Brownlees but only nine seconds behind the man in third place.
It was South African Richard Murray who emerged from the pack to win the bronze medal, but Harris finished strongly to claim sixth place in a total time of 1hr 49min 49sec, 1:59 behind the winner.
Harris added: “It was an amazing experience and the crowd were really good. It was really hot and a tough race, but the crowd really got behind us.”
Next up for Harris is a World Triathlon Series event in Stockholm in a few weeks’ time, followed by the World Triathlon Grand Final, which will take place in Canada at the end of August.
Having had a taste of a major championship, Harris has his sights set on a place on the British team for the Olympic Games in two years’ time.
He was the third British man home in Glasgow, but Harris admits that he will need to show that he is capable of competing for a medal in order to persuade the selectors not to pick an athlete to work for the Brownlees.
“Next year has to be a big one for me if I am going to earn a place at the Olympics,” Harris said. “Unless a third British athlete can get onto the podium at a couple of world series events next year, I expect the third athlete will be a domestique for the Brownlees.”