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Murray wins again
- Updated: February 20, 2012
Richard Murray’s dream of being part of Team South Africa at the Olympic Games in London later this year continued to take shape as he raced to a fine victory in the Africa Cup sprint triathlon event in Blouberg on Sunday.
Murray clocked 54min 48sec for the 750-metre swim, 20km cycle and 5km run, beating Russia’s Igor Polyanskiy by 17sec and All Africa Games champion Erhard Wolfaardt by a further two seconds, writes Mark Etheridge.
Late last year Murray took silver in the Mexican leg of the World Cup series and the two time junior world duathlon champion looks to be setting himself up for a great year.
Murray has based himself in Stellenbosch just recently and another frequent visitor to Stellenbosch, Great Britain’s Tim Don, took eighth on Sunday after being up in contention in the early stages. Don is out to make it a fourth Olympic Games later this year.
It’s no secret that Murray’s swim is his weakest discipline but it’s something he’s working on. “Training in Stellenbosch with Anton Ruanova [Spanish triathlete] has been a real treat, not only have we been surrounded with the cream of the crop but I have been able to improve my swimming miles over the past month,” said the 23-year-old.
“I had a great start to my race and put my head down towards the first buoy which lay just 300m from Big Bay Beach. I soon noticed that I was near the front of the swim and kept on going until I got caught up in the rope of the buoys. I soon got loose and was on my way round the second buoy and hit the beach in about an astounding eight place.
“Into T2 and Tim and myself were the first two out and I put the hammer down and never looked backÔÇª well maybe once or twice! With a few short hills and a long downhill run at the start, my legs felt great and I soon settled into an “I’m hurting but will make 5km pace!ÔÇØ
The women’s title went to Pretoria’s Carlyn Fischer, the All Africa Games champion having a 15-second victory margin over visiting Belgian athlete Katrien Verstuyft. Fischer clocked 1:01:21 while Germany’s Ricarda Lisk rounded off the podium (1:01:47).
Vicky van Merwe, on the comeback trail again, was just four seconds outside the podium.
Olympic hopeful Gillian Sanders took ninth on Sunday, despite the London based athlete having the best run-time of the women (17:55).
That was after she had exited the water 14sec off leader Mari Rabie. It was on the bike that she lost ground and was unable to make up time on the final 5km run.