Alistair Brownlee admitted he was struggling to remember a time he felt worse during a race after narrowly losing out on World Triathlon Series gold to Javier Gomez in Yokohama, Japan.
Olympic champion Brownlee exited the 1500m swim and got onto the bike in a small lead group, but the lead didn’t last long.
On the 10km run Brownlee was locked in battle with Spaniards Gomez and Mario Mola, the latter was dropped after 8km, leaving Gomez and Brownlee to fight to the line.
In the finishing straight Brownlee led, but Gomez overtook with just metres to go and the Brit admitted to feeling under par.
“I had a little mess up with my helmet, that meant there was a couple of seconds gap that I had to close, not normally a problem but today I just never recovered,” he said.
“I had to sit at the back for the first two or three laps. I had nothing, it’s the worst I’ve ever felt in a race in my life.
“Obviously after [the win in] Cape Town I wanted to win here, but a first and a second is brilliant for the world title. [There are] another four Series races to go, I should become fitter as well.”
Elsewhere in the men’s race, fellow Brits Mark Buckingham and Adam Bowden were fourth and seventh respectively.
And in the women’s race, former world champion Non Stanford marked her return from injury with a seventh-place finish.
The race was won by American Gwen Jorgensen but there was still plenty for Stanford to celebrate with this her first race since she won the World Triathlon Grand Final in London in September 2013.
She said: “I’m happy but not satisfied. It was great to be back racing and my goal was always to get to the finish line in one piece, but after 20 months away, I can't complain. If anything, today has given me more motivation to get it right come August 1."
© Sportsbeat 2015