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Murray and Schoeman in Swedish action

A series of surprising results have seen our current African triathlon champion Henri Schoeman lift himself from 207th to 10th in the world in a mere six months.

Schoeman and 2012 Olympian Richard Murray were both in action in Stockholm, Sweden at the weekend, with Murray ending sixth and Schoeman 15th.

Murray’s time for the 1500-metre swim, 40 kilometre cycle and 10km run was 1hr 45min 39sec and Schoeman clocked 1:46:39.

The race was won by Britain’s Alistair Brownlee in 1:43:13 after breaking away on the bike leg.

Schoeman experienced a hard learning curve during his first race in Stockholm but is positive that it will only make him stronger where it matters.

The swim consisted of two laps of 750m, followed by a bike consisting of 10 laps of 4km each and then onto a run course of 10km divided into 4 laps of 2.5km.

About 30% of the bike and run was over cobblestones followed by a steep hill that had to be climbed 10 times on the bike and then another four times on the run.

ÔÇ£It was an exciting and challenging course. It was a very technical race and demanded 100% concentration at all times,” said Schoeman.

Not at all feeling himself on the day, Schoeman managed to maintain a third position out of the swim. ÔÇ£I found myself trying much harder just to maintain my position coming out of the water.ÔÇØ

The swim was very aggressive and both Brownlee brotherss tried to take Schoeman off course twice before the turn buoys. In a second of doubt Schoeman nearly lost the lead pack out of transition but knew what it took to catch them and bridged the gap within 2km.

ÔÇ£I had a bad T1 and had to work very hard to catch the front group of nine. Luckily I was able to bridge the gap, and we managed to get a decent lead of about 1:20 over the chase pack going into T2.ÔÇØ

The addiction of being in the lead pack has taken root in the South African champion and he has already made a name for himself among fellow competitors. ÔÇ£It is great to be out in the breakaway, the experiences are not easily explained, you learn so much and it makes you much stronger as an athlete, mentally and physically.ÔÇØ

Although there is a little disappointment for letting a great opportunity slip, Schoeman is happy to have maintained his 10th position in the series rankings going into the Grand Final in London as a strong competitor.

ÔÇ£It was a perfect opportunity to get a great result. I struggled the entire race but suffered most on the run. I kept myself motivated to finish and happy to have bagged some points.ÔÇØ

Looking back at the goals he set at the start of the season, Schoeman is more than happy with his results and current ranking. ÔÇ£I am still very young and new to this level of racing. It’s the first time that I have raced so many events in such a short time at such a high level.ÔÇØ

Schoeman will head back home positive and work closely with coaches Joe Schoeman and Alisdair Hatfield over the next two weeks to ensure he is ready for the final leg of the series. ÔÇ£I look forward to getting back home and getting in some good training over the next couple of weeks in preparation for London.ÔÇØ

Murray is our highest ranked triathlon and currently occupies fifth spot on the ITU list with 2501 points and Schoeman has 1811.

In the women’s race two-time Olympian Kate Roberts ended 26th with a time of 2:01:43 while London Olympian Gillian Sanders failed to complete the event. American Gwen Jorgenson won in 1:55.31.

The two are ranked 25th and 47th respectively.


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