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Murray rushes back for surgery as Schoeman and Rabie take 12th, 16th
- Updated: April 9, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s hopes of a triathlon medal at the Rio Olympics hit a hiccup at Gold Coast, Australia on Saturday as Richard Murray crashed out of contention in the WTS event.
London Olympian Murray who has had a stellar season last year and started with a podium finish in the Abu Dhabi event and then gold in the World Cup event in New Zealand last week, broke his collar bone and also damaged his hand.
‘Crashed into the carrier, my fault and I should have braked. Back home tomorrow and then surgery,’ he said after another improved swim which had kept him well in touch with the leaders.’
Murray will now be in the race of his life to get back on track and faces a good few weeks out of action as medical and conditioning experts work on getting him back in shape.
It wasn’t all bad news for South African though as Murray’s fellow Commonwealth Games silver-medallist in the team event, Henri Schoeman continued his comeback after illness and injury.
The KwaZulu-Natal athlete raced to 12th spot in 1hr 48min 21sec as mercurial Mario Mola of Spain won in 1:46:21.
Schoeman was first out of the water, 25sec ahead of Mola but lost ground on the bike and run as he still gets over a knee injury which set him back for a period of time.
In the women’s race SA’s Mari Rabie continued her fine resurgence after 13th in Abu Dhabi and fourth in New Zealand last week with a 16th spot in the elite women’s race. She clocked 1:59:54 as Britain’s Helen Jenkins won in 1:56:03.
London Olympian Gillian Sanders failed to finish on Saturday, pulling out after the swim and bike legs.
‘I felt flat as a pancake,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. ‘Went swimming in Midmar Dam the day after a massive storm recently and I think I caught an ear infection from all the stuff that had flowed into the water.
‘Had a sore throat and blocked ears and mucus hanging around last week. It’s mostly gone but not 100% right and I think there were still some bugs lingering in my system as I had no extra gear.
‘I might do the Cape Town race later this month now but will confirm closer to the time. My Olympic ranking is still fine (27) so no stress from that point of view but would like a confidence-boosting race performance before I head into final Rio training.’