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Murray takes silver in London sprint finish
- Updated: June 2, 2014
London Olympian Richard Murray has upped his game once again when he gave another great performance by finishing second in the ITU World Triathlon Series in London on Saturday after finishing third in Yokohama, Japan a few weeks ago.
Mario Mola from Spain won the race over a sprint-distance 750-metre swim, 20 kilometre cycle and 5km run in 49 minutes, 47 seconds in a sprint against Cape Town’s Murray (given the same time). See Murray mixing it with the bunch, right.
Joao Pereira from Portugal was third in 49.49. It was Mola’s first WTS win and Murray’s best performance since his second place at San Diego in 2013.
It’s been more than 18 months since a competitor other than Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee or Javier Gomez has topped a World Triathlon Series podium. Mola’s victory also brought to an end the best winning streak in WTS history for Gomez, who had been unbeaten since last year’s Grand Final ÔÇô four events.
With the shorter distances it was always going to be a race with big groups. There was a gap of a few seconds between the front group and Murray’s group with the start of the 20km-bike. By the third lap the gap was closed and coming into transition the group was 54 riders big.
Soon eight runners took the lead in the 5km. Gomez dropped pretty soon and could not get back. Alistair Brownlee was very aggressive and with a kilometre to go he was in the lead, but Murray then upped his pace. But like the Mooloolaba World Cup race in Australia earlier in the year, Mola once again got the better of Murray in the sprint.
ÔÇ£What happened today is good for the sport and good for the spectators. I have big respect for the Brownlees and they are great athletes, but change is also good. In that final kilometre or two of the run I told myself to hold back when Alistair attacked and then in the final stretch I gave it my all. I even thought I had it for a moment and then Mario came flying past! I am super stoked with second place though,ÔÇØ said Murray.
The South African is now fourth on the world rankings with 2011 points. Gomez (2942) is still in the lead followed by Jonathan Brownlee (2652) and Mola (2637).
The next WTS race is in Chicago on 29 June. Murray’s next race is the French Grand Prix in Valence on 8 June.
Mark Etheridge reports that a an unusually high number of South African women were in London action ÔÇô┬áfive in all.
The race honours went to superquick runner Gwen Jorgenson of the US as she blitzed to a 54:44 victory.
Best of the handful of SA competitors was strong swimmer Mari Rabie of Stellenbosch as she ended 26th, exactly two minutes off the pace.
Next best was Anel Radford and London Olympian Gill Sanders in 41st (57:48) and 42nd spot (57:52) respectively.
Then came Sanders’ 2012 Olympics teammate Kate Roberts in 58th (61:09) and All Africa Games 2011 team member Lauren Dance brought up the field in 62:17.
But the Boksburg, Gauteng athlete has taken heart from her efforts after posting a Did Not Finish at the Cape Town leg of the WTS competition in April this year. She told Road to Rio 2016: “It was a tough race again for me and I think it will take some time adjusting to the level.
“I was on the back of pack again in swim but the zip got stuck on my wetsuit so I missed them. I was then alone on the bike and run. I’m sure I will get there eventually. It’s so tough though but I’ll adjust in time.”