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SA aces race to first and third in Far East

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By Mark Etheridge

South African triathletes Mari Rabie and Anel Radford took gold and bronze respectively in the Hong Kong ASTC Sprint Asian Cup in the Far East at the weekend.
Twenty-nine-year-old Rabie covered the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and 5km run in 63min 41sec to post a seven-second victory margin over China’s Lianyuan Wang. And Radford was just four seconds back in bronze.
It was Australia based Radford’s final race of the season and it’s now holiday time for the Sydney athlete.
‘Even though there were no Olympic qualification points up for grabs, a good result would improve my world ranking and make it easier to get a start in the remaining races of the Olympic qualification cycle. I was also disappointed with my result at the Tongyeong World Cup last weekend and determined to finish the season on a high,’ the 37-year-old former accountant told Road to Rio 2016.
‘I recovered as much as I could in the week between the races but still felt pretty flat on race day. I had a good swim (no mistakes around the buoys this time!) and was comfortably in the lead pack on the bike.
‘Our group worked well together and put time into the chase group. Five of us came off the bike together. I had to build my way into the run and took the lead at around 3.5km. Mari stayed with me and we had a small gap to the third placed Chinese athlete.
‘In the last 400m Mari attacked. I tried everything to stay with her but just didn’t have the legs on the day. The Chinese athlete was also starting to close the gap. It was a sprint to the finish and I finished in 3rd, 11 seconds separating the top three.
‘I would have loved to stand on the top step of the podium but have to be happy with my race given my very short preparation for the last two races of the season. Thank you to everyone who supported me throughout the season. I wouldn’t be able to do this without you.’
Rabie banked $1500 for the win and Radford will have $1000 left to help her enjoy her holidays that much better.


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