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Medallist shed half her bodyweight

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Hayley Simmonds. Reuters

GOLD COAST (AFP) – An English cyclist who took up the sport to get in shape and then shed nearly half her bodyweight won Commonwealth Games bronze yesterday – and was overcome with emotion at the finish line.

A tearful Hayley Simmonds looked stunned when she placed third in the women’s time trial, the result of years of vigorous training which saw her drop 45 kilos (100 pounds).

“I showed Julian (Julian Winn, her coach) a picture of me from 2011 and he didn’t believe it was me, I lost like 45kg,” the 29-year-old said.

“As soon as I started doing time trials my competitive nature took over, it’s been hard.”

Simmonds, who now weighs 55kg, describes baking as one of her hobbies. “There have been times I’ve wanted to go and eat a big cake,” she said.

Simmonds, who did a PhD in chemistry at the University of Cambridge, will also go in the women’s road race on Saturday, the penultimate day of the Games.

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