Cape Town - Commonwealth Games athletes Richard Murray and Henri Schoeman have both raced to top 10 positions at the ITU World Triathlon event in Montreal, Canada.
According to Team SA's Mark Etheridge, Murray took fourth spot in 1 hour 48 minutes 36 seconds and Schoeman was 34 seconds slower as in-form Spaniard Mario Mola won in 1:47:46 over the 1.5-kilometre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.
Gold Coast Commonwealth gold medallist Schoeman was again a powerhouse in the water, even stopping at one stage, apparently to see if there wasn't a problem.
After the bike, there was a five-strong breakaway group who had a minute lead over the next pack where running aces Mola, Murray and Aussie Jake Birtwhistle lurked.
It was Mola who used his running prowess best as he hunted down Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt with a kilometre to run.
Murray ended up being pipped to the podium by Birtwhistle.
"This was my second race in Montreal and I headed into it fourth on the overall standings and now I'm still fourth, only 100 points behind third so it's pretty promising before the grand final in Gold Coast, Australia," Murray told Team South Africa.
"I felt pretty good in Montreal. I had a great training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona so the body's in great shape. The actual race was pretty good, although once again I didn't have the best of swims. But I got back into contention on the bike and I was running in third spot before Jake just managed to catch me in the last few metres.
"Gold Coast will be my last WTS race of the season. I'm ding a little altitude training in Boulder, Colorado now and then from Gold Coast it's off to Europe for the first of the Super League races in Jersey," he said.
Despite only ending sixth, Schoeman was satisfied to a degree: "It's nice to be back in the game and racing after a rough three months with sickness and injury.
"I made some errors which cost me the gap between the front runners and left me chasing. I'm very happy with my form and the fourth fastest run. There are a couple of things that still need work and I'm excited to get home and back to work for further fine tuning ahead of the final in Gold Coast."
There was just one South African representative in the elite women's race and that was two-time Olympian and Commonwealth competitor Gill Sanders.
But the London-based athlete didn't have a day to remember and ended up being lapped on the seventh of nine bike laps, meaning instant elimination as Britain's Vicky Holland went on to win in 1:59:29 from American Katie Zeferes (1:59:51).
Never one to look for excuses, a frustrated Sanders said: "I've just been feeling very fatigued the past two weeks or so. I suspect it may be anaemia/iron deficiency so have been for blood tests."
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