SA’s Murray eyeing medal
Despite taking his foot off the pedal this year after narrowly missing out on a medal with his fourth-place finish at last year’s Olympics, Richard Murray (above) hopes to make history today by becoming the first South African to finish on the overall podium in the World Triathlon Series.
While he enjoyed an experimental year, which included some off-road Xterra racing and his first half-ironman race, Murray opened his campaign with a World Cup victory in Cape Town, and he went on to reach the podium at three legs of the World Series to settle in third place.
Though leader Mario Mola of Spain was the firm favourite for the series title ahead of today’s final in Rotterdam, Murray needed to finish in the top four to be guaranteed a place on the podium.
“The WTS wasn’t my focus for the season so if I finish in the top three overall it will be great,” Murray said this week.
Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman had not earned a podium spot in the top-flight 2017 campaign, but his three top-10 finishes and two World Cup silver medals placed him 11th in the overall standings, and he was set to turn out as a dark horse after winning the series final in Cozumel, Mexico last year.
Former world junior champion Wian Sullwald, lying 17th in the rankings, would complete the three-pronged South African attack in the elite men’s race.
Gillian Sanders, in 24th position overall, and Simone Ackermann in 37th spot, were among the elite women’s entries.