Cape Town - Richard Murray will lead the South African onslaught on home soil when the World Triathlon Series stops for the Cape Town leg on April 26.
It is the second year that the city of Cape Town is a stop on the World Triathlon Series. This year the event will finish at the Green Point Athletics Stadium, the first international event to do so. Murray was the best local performer in last year's race with his fifth position after the second fastest run of the day.
The other local athletes that will offer some strong challenges are super-swimmer Henri Schoeman and youngster Wian Sullwald. Both Sullwald and Schoeman won their first World Cup races in 2014, while Murray has been the top South African on the circuit for the past few seasons.
Murray won a Commonwealth Games medal in Glasgow last year and finished on the podium several times in the World Triathlon Series.
This year he started strongly once again with a third place in Abu Dhabi, the opening race on the Series calendar. He followed that up with a World Cup win in New Plymouth and fifth place at the WTS Gold Coast. Schoeman gave his best World Triathlon Series performance recently when he finished sixth at the Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Auckland.
Though Schoeman and Sullwald are improving all the time and becoming real podium contenders, Murray is for now South Africa’s big hope.
He is one of only a few runners who can stay with and drop Javier Gomez and the Brownlees, Alistair and Jonathan. He has come close to beating super fast Mario Mola as well.
The Capetonian has been working really hard on his swimming in the off season, missing the South African summer to be with his coach Joel Filliol in Europe to work on this discipline that is holding him back. "I have done some 30 to 35 km swimming per week in the off season. It has been the most constructive swimming I’ve ever done."
For Murray the race in Cape Town is the big focus of the season. "I have been working really hard on my swimming and with more training time coming up before Cape Town I will also have done some good running miles as well. The goal is to improve on my fifth place from last year. There is so much support and I don't get to race in front of family and friends that often so I really want to put up a good show!"
The Elite Women’s race will take place on Saturday, 25 April from 14:55 until 17:15, and the Elite Men at the same times on Sunday, 26 April.
Participants have the option to enter either the Sprint or Olympic distance and para-triathletes (PT2 – PT5) can enter the Sprint event. Team relays for both distances are also on the schedule and entrants can participate from the age of 11.
The Sprint distance includes a 500m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run. The Olympic distance includes a 1 500m swim, a 40km cycle and a 10km run. The minimum age for the Olympic individual is 18 and for teams, 16. Schools are also welcome to enter teams in this special category. Late entries are still accepted by the organisers.