GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) – Double Olympic rowing champion Hamish Bond has reinforced his successful transition to cycling by claiming a bronze medal in the individual time trial at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.
Bond, who started roughly midway through the field of racers leaving at one-minute intervals, clocked an impressive 48 minutes, 45.45 seconds over the 38.5-kilometre course.
Australia’s Cameron Meyer, a team time trial world bronze medalist, took gold in 48:13.04 with England’s Harry Tanfield claiming silver in 48:43.30.
“I’m really happy with the race,” Bond told reporters. “It has probably been my most complete race to date. I executed the race perfectly. I couldn’t have given any more.”
The 32-year-old Bond was previously part of one of the most dominant rowing combinations in history along with Eric Murray, going unbeaten for eight years in the men’s pair and winning Olympic golds at London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.
The duo, however, split after Rio with Murray choosing to retire and Bond, already a keen cyclist, eyeing a possible entry at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on a bike.
“Preparation wise, it’s pretty similar,” Bond added.
“I’ve only been doing road racing for 12 months and it has only been 18 months since Rio and I’m still learning every day.”
Bond won the individual time trial at New Zealand’s national championships in January to earn Commonwealth Games selection, which he followed up with the Oceania title in Tasmania last month.
His Commonwealth Games debut, however, almost came to a premature end when he needed to take evasive action to avoid a support vehicle on the course.
“I tried to overtake someone from an African nation and the car didn’t get out of the way in time,” he said. “I had no time to think about it. I was lucky that I’d done this before.
“Even though it was less than ideal, you just have to roll with the punches.”
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O’Brien)