Not the finish he aimed for, but Matthew Wright did not leave disappointed as he jumped from 308th to 140th in the world. Just over a week after his impressive first-place finish at the Aqaba cup in Jordan, Wright travelled south with hopes of landing on the podium but fell short at the 2022 Sarmakand Asian Triathlon Cup in Uzbekistan on October 8th, 2022.
Wright suited up for his second event in the space of a week against a pool of world-ranked competitors at the Silk Road Tourist Center in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
After just 1 lap into the bike leg, the 2 lead swimmers were swallowed into the large group and after a few failed attempts to break away by other athletes, the group remained together for the rest of the fast and flat bike leg, to force a tight race heading into the run.
With an impressive bike leg, Wright led the large group into the second transition and was out onto the run course in first position. He was quickly followed by Kurt Wesley of Australia, Luxembourg’s Gregor Payet, 2021 Tokyo Olympian Felix Duchampt from Romania and eventual winner, Spain’s David Cantero De Campo. Duchampt and De Campo set a blistering pace, which made it challenging for Wright to keep up, especially with last week’s gold medal racing performance, which eventually took a toll on his body, forcing Wright to drop back.
Hot on the heels of Wright and challenging for the 6th spot, was last week’s bronze medal winner Jason Tai Long Ng from Honk Kong however,
With this result, Wright catapults into the top 150 of the World Triathlon rankings, where he now sits at 145 and 31 in the Continental rankings. A very successful trip for Wright with a 1st and 6th place finish at his last two outings, propelling him 160 places on the world rankings. Wright will look to recover and regroup as he prepares for the Pan American Triathlon Championships in Montevideo, Uruguay on October 29th, the first race of Wright’s 2024 Olympic qualifying campaign.