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Schoeman is SA’s best finisher in Hamburg
- Updated: July 20, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Henri Schoeman’s sixth place was best of the South African presence at the WTS Hamburg sprint and mixed relay event in Germany at the weekend.
The Durban based Commonwealth Games team silver medallist ended sixth in a frenetic race which saw competitors swim 750 metres, cycle 20km and then take on a 5km run.
France’s Luis Vincent won in 51min 54sec from the Spanish duo of Javier Gomez (51:58) and Mario Mola (52:20).
Schoeman’s sixth place came in a time of 52:40 with individual splits of 9:08, 27:39 and 15:02.
A happy Schoeman can take solace from the fact that he wasn’t even on the top of his game due to a recent chest infection.
‘But Hamburg never disappoints with the local support in their thousands,’ he told Road to Rio 2016. ‘It makes a great racing atmosphere and pushes the athletes into very fast and furious racing. I love it!
‘I’m very pleased with my sixth as this result also brings me into the top 10 on rankings at ninth spot which I’m really excited about.
‘I had my best chance for podium… again, but this time with some chest issues during the race. I had a chest infection two weeks ago and the racing proved it wasn’t 100% out of my body yet
‘But I’m looking forward to getting in some good recovery and be ready for the Rio Olympic Test event in two weeks time.’
One athlete left kicking his heels in frustration was Richard Murray who had to serve a 10-second time penalty after leaving a water bottle in transition. In a sprint event, 10 seconds is akin to an infinity.
Yet such is his talent that Murray still managed to finish one spot outside the top 10 placings, in a time of 52:56.
That after cranking out ‘317 watts of normalised power for 28 minutes on the bike,’ said Murray.
‘The big problem was that penalty, I was moving my way up through field in run and on target for a top five or eight maybe, so having to stay put in the finishing chute cost me three or four places.
‘But we have to move on, these but things happen in life. Anyway I’ll be waiting for the upcoming Olympic Test event in Rio where I’ll definitely be looking for a much better race.
The women’s race wasn’t as much of a success story as Schoeman and Murray’s Commonwealth Games teamate Gillian Sanders also lost unnecessary time and could only finish 54th in 62:14 as Gwen Jorgenson (US) won an exciting race in 57:08 from WTS Cape Town leg champion Vicky Holland (57:13).
‘I just made a really silly mistake going from swim to bike,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. ‘I have new bike shoes and I couldn’t get into them… a disaster really, a rookie error that I definitely shouldn’t be making at that level.’
Best South African on the day was Anel Radford who ended 25th in 58:58.
Sunday saw the four South Africans teaming up for the relay event where each athlete has to swim 300m, bike 6.6km and run 1.6km.
Team France came out tops in a combined 1:20:33 as South Africa could only take 13th in 1:23:14.
‘In the relay my body felt good,’ said Sanders. ‘I went off third, we kept the same order as Glasgow dream team but with Kate [Roberts] retired, Anel took her spot. We were unfortunately off the pace from the get go and it was a matter of chasing and making up as many spots as possible.
‘So not the best weekend for me. Hope to make big amends in the next!’