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Murray moves up to podium in Edmonton after Rio disappointment
- Updated: September 6, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
It wasn’t the podium he was craving but Richard Murray bounced back to grab third spot at the weekend’s ITU WTS sprint distance triathlon in Edmonton, Canada.
Murray fell an agonising seven seconds short of getting a bronze medal at last month’s Rio Olympics as countryman Henri Schoeman snapped up the final podium position behind the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonny.
Like many a triathlete, Murray fell ill after Rio and went into the race on the back of a bout of flu.
He ended up with a time of 52min 01sec as two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee of Britain bagged the win in 51:39 from Murray’s training partner, Spaniard Mario Mola (51:56).
Murray was 20sec back after the 750-metre swim but made up ground on the 20km cycle to leave him and Mola duking it out for till the final stages of the 5km run.
‘Back onto the podium and hopefully I can move up the rankings by year-end,’ Murray told Road to Tokyo 2020 after his race.
‘I’m glad with my race. I didn’t want to push too hard on the run so I’m happy with third. I was in bed for a few days trying to shake that cold and I still have a bit of it it in me.’
Cape Town athlete Murray is now en route to Cozumel, Mexico for the grand final of the WTS calendar next weekend. He also has another potentially lucrative pay day in the Caribbean looming next month.
South Africa had two competitors in the women’s race in the shape of Mari Rabie and Gillian Sanders, both of whom had also raced in Rio last month.
Like Murray, Rabie had also come down with illness after her 11th spot at the Olympics.
She ended 18th in 58:14 as Summer Cook led the United States to a 1-2-3 podium whitewash on the day in 56:49.
‘My worst result of the year,’ she told Road to Tokyo 2020. ‘Been sick as a dog and on antibiotics since Rio, so just surviving and today really showed it.
‘Now it’s on to Cozumel and ready to finish the season on a high,’
Meanwhile up ahead it was Sanders who was having a much better showing than the Olympics where she was 23rd. She nailed a top 10 finish in 57:37 to place ninth.
Sanders was another casualty after the Games. ‘I was ill after Rio and just surviving. I had a sore throat then a weird fever then a sore throat again. Luckily it started disappearing about two days before Edmonton.
‘Richard and Rachel [Klamer, girlfriend] were still snotty like me. I was very surprised at my race… maybe the rest did me good. I knew I was in great shape given the way I felt on the bike and run in Rio so it’s good to put that good shape to use now!’
Going into the grand final and Mola leads with 3940 points from Jonathan Brownlee (3705) with Spains’ Fernando Alarza (winner of the Cape Town leg)j, third wit 3443. Murray lies ninth (2025) with Schoeman 11th (1960).
In the women’s rankings Bermuda’s Flora Duffy leads the way with 3491 points from Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen (3325). Rabie lies 18th (1585) and Sanders 39th with 962 points.