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Stars bound for Beijing

Beijing, China and triathlon’s Grand Final beckons for our two European based athletes next month, writes Mark Etheridge.

The occasion is the ITU World Championships Grand Final in Beijing and will be contested on the weekend of 10-11 September. London based Gillian Sanders and Germany based Richard Murray will certainly be in action.

Both competed in the World Sprint Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland last weekend. Sanders was sunk by a second consecutive weekend of misfortune with mechanical problems on the bike leg meaning withdrawal on both occasions.

Murray though raced to 28th spot after ending eighth in London the previous week.

They were joined in Lausanne by Rudolf Naude and Carlyn Fisher where they teamed up for the relay event.

‘We did OK in the relay, 16th out of 33 teams which is average,’ said Sanders, 29, before moving on and focusing on Bejing. ‘I’m adamant that my bad luck is over. My new bike arrives this week which i’m really excited about so hopefully no more problems. My chain came off on the top of the hill at the second lap. In London it was broken.’

As she quite rightly says, luckily Lausanne wasn’t a big event in the broader scheme of things. ‘Thank goodness Lausanne wasn’t an Olympic points race. Beijing is a biggie with more points up for grabs as it’s the grand finale. After Beijing is Yokohama in Japan so I’m really excited to race well again with no problems.’

For his part, Murray was happy with Lausanne. ‘It was amazing but I want more form for myself still. I missed the second pack by about 10 metres and then on the bike no-one in the bunch wanted to work with me although I think we could have caught the second bunch at the start so I was about 35th overall in the cycle.

‘On the run I knew I had to make up time to get some more ITU points so I put my head down and wanted to hit a sub-15min 5km. I only managed a 15:05 but was pretty pleased as I had done a lot of work on the bike. In the run I ran about seven guys down and managed that 28th spot in a very heavily contested field.

‘So now my next big one will be Beijing but before that my I’m doing my first Bundesliga race for my German team ALZ Sigmaringen,’ concluded the 22-year-old.


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