Saturday Star

Durbanvill­e triathlete Murray in a hurry ‘to have fun’


CAPE TOWN: Almost a year ago Richard Murray watched the ITU World Triathlon Cape Town with his left arm in a sling shortly after his crash in Australia leaving his Olympic dream in the balance.

With the scar on his collarbone the only reminder of the crash on the bike leg at the World Triathlon Series in Gold Coast, Australia, Murray looked content ahead of today’s sprint event here.

“It’s been an interestin­g build-up. About four weeks ago I was still skiing in Germany, after that my girlfriend asked if I wanted to go to Namibia to train with the Dutch. I said why not,” Murray said.

“I was a bit upset missing Cape Town because it was a sprint event and I thought I could win then I broke my collarbone and did commentary instead.”

While Murray is keen to kick off his season at home in the Discovery Triathlon World Cup, he was looking to have some fun in 2017.

“This year I will have some fun. Next year will be serious. And 2018 very serious, if you want to be improve,” Murray said.

Murray made a stunning comeback after breaking two bones in his hand and fracturing his clavicle when he won his maiden ITU Duathlon World title in Avile, Spain, two months after his crash. Two months later the gritty triathlete from Durbanvill­e lined up at the Olympic Games with the hope of finishing in the top-10, never mind getting close to a podium finish.

Murray finished in fourth place, just seven seconds behind compatriot Henri Schoeman, who became the country’s first Olympic triathlon medallist.

Going into the Games, Murray’s swimming which had been his Achilles heel, was impeded by the collarbone injury.

Coming out of the water the leading group had almost a one-minute advantage on Murray on the course that started on Copacabana Beach.

Murray launched an incredible running leg erasing nearly a minute-and-a-half. Demonstrat­ing why running was his strong point, Murray posted the fastest time of 30:34 over the final event.

Schoeman won the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico, a month after clinching the Olympic bronze medal.

Murray waited at the line for Spanish training partner Mario Mola before crossing in fourth place to earn a fifth-place overall world series ranking.

Looking to have some fun, Murray will be competing in the XTERRA SA Championsh­ip in Grabouw at the end of the month while also eyeing a Half Ironman event later in the year.

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