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Rabie, Radford fly SA flag in South Korea

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By Mark Etheridge

South African duo Mari Rabie and Anel Radford finished 26th and 27th respectively at the weekend’s World Cup triathlon in Tongyeong, South Korea.
Rabie, South Africa’s top finisher at the Cape Town leg of the World Triathlon Series in April, clocked 2hr 05min 12sec and Radford was 31sec back.
The race was won by Japan’s Yuka Sato in 2:00:52 from Switzerland’s Jolanda Annen (2:01:06) with another Japanese athlete Yuko Takahashi third nine seconds later.
Rabie was just six seconds off the pace out of the swim leg, and Radford 50sec. The bike leg saw Rabie posting the fifth quickest ride (64:30) and Radford was clocked at 65min and some small change.
The 10km run leg saw Rabie clocking just over 40min and Radford just over 38min.
Radford, who lives in Sydney, Australia where she’s part of Jamie Turner’s Wollongong Wizards training group, is also based in the Basque Country in northern Spain for part of the year.
She’s staying on in South Korea for her last race of the year, in Hong Kong next weekend and took some time to reflect on her race with Road to Rio 2016.
‘This was the last World Cup of the season. I had to withdraw from the Chicago WTS final due to an untimely niggle and that meant a shorter preparation time for Tongyeong. But, thanks to a great team of people around me, I got some really good work done in the time I had and was healthy, fit and ready to race.
‘I put myself in a good position at the start of the swim but made a mistake around the turning buoy which meant I was stuck between the leaders and the chase pack exiting the water. I swam well, I biked well and I ran well but all from the chase pack and not from the lead bunch where you need to be to make it count.
‘I ended the day in a frustrating 27th position. I’m not happy with the result as it does not reflect what I was capable of but I am happy with most of the processes I put together in the race.’
Like London-based Olympian and Commonwealth Games team silver medallist Gillian Sanders, Radford is another South African athlete who has put a hold on her career to devote herself fully to the sporting cause.
She originally moved to Australia on a two-year international transfer with accounting firm KPMG and enjoyed it so much she kept on extending her contract before deciding three years ago to do triathlon full time and not juggle work and racing.
But despite being married to an Aussie husband, Adam, there’s no doubting her allegiance. ‘It will never feel right to be racing for any country other than SA!’
Rabie and Radford both move up two positions on the Olympic rankings to 86th and 93rd spot respectively. Sanders is the country’s highest ranked women’s triathlete at 32nd spot.

Picture of Radford courtesy of Delly Carr/ITU


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