- Pace bounces back with strong finish in Thailand
- Blitzboks take it easy before Las Vegas Sevens
- Maripa bags first title of the year in Bolton
- England wrap up Summer Series with 2-0 win against SA
- Five more Meet records at SA Grand Prix
- Fichardt nails 15th Sunshine Tour win at Joburg Open
- SA duo struggle at Tokyo Marathon
- Le Clos leads the way at SA Grand Prix in Stellenbosch
- SA women lead but go down to England in Summer Series
- Rain delay shortens Joburg Open still further
Rabie on a roll as she grabs more points towards Rio qualification
- Updated: April 5, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Mari Rabie’s road to Rio and the Olympic Games later this year gathered yet more momentum with her fourth place at the weekend’s World Cup event in New Plymouth, New Zealand.
After a frustrating, not to mention scary, 2014 which saw her sidelined with a heart condition, Rabie is slowly but surely getting back into the fast lane.
Sunday saw her clocking 59min 28 seconds as United States machine Gwen Jorgensen blitzed the win in 58:51.
While Jorgensen’s main weapon of the three-pronged code is the run, Rabie’s swim puts her up front from the get-go and it was no different.
Sunday was more of the same as she hit terra-firma first.
She told Road to Rio 2016 as she headed back to Australia for this weekend’s WTS (World Triathlon Series) race in Gold Coast: ‘I’m really delighted with my fourth. In terms of executing well, it was my best performance to date.
‘The swim was good, I had a really good run-in and found some fast feet (I think it was Gwen) and just stayed in the front four, with a really good run-in which placed me into transition and on the bike first. On the bike I just tried to ride smart with no silly moves.
‘The run was just a hang-on at the start and then when I got into the little group another hang-on for four more laps!
‘In retrospect I would have approached the last 800m of the run differently – but that’s hindsight bias for you.
‘Important is to recover now and be ready for next weekend on the Gold Coast for that second World Series. Our plan for these first five races were to have solid performances with solid points. So far it is three out of five. Now for the last two (Gold Coast and Cape Town later this year).’
It’s now all about picking up more and more points for the African champion. She won 400 points for her continental win in East London and now the weekend’s return was worth almost as much. She’s moved up to 56th on the ITU Olympic rankings… a climb of six places.
London based Gillian Sanders is South Africa’s top-ranked women’s triathlete currently, at 30th spot with Jorgensen a runaway leader on top.