World Triathlon Series: Depleted Britain claim mixed relay bronze

Great Britain claim triathlon bronze in Hamburg

Reigning champions Great Britain had to settle for bronze at the triathlon mixed relay World Championships after an absorbing race in Hamburg.

Mark Buckingham had an 11-second lead after legs by Vicky Holland, Gordon Benson and Non Stanford but was caught by France's Vincent Luis in the run.

Ryan Bailie took silver for Australia.

Britain - without Alistair and Jonny Brownlee - finished 19 seconds back as they ceded the title they had won in three of the last four years.

"I just struggled so much on the run," Buckingham told BBC Sport. "All four of us have just come down from altitude and it was just a really hard race."

Both Benson and Buckingham took over in the lead after impressive displays by Holland and Stanford.

The former recovered from a nasty fall during the transition from the 6.6km bike ride to the 1.6km run and the latter gained ground in the 300m swim before streaking clear on the run after a slip by Benson left Britain in fourth.

Ultimately it was in vain, though, as the French improved on last year's silver medal.

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