Cape Town - Olympic
bronze medallist Henri Schoeman saved his best for last as he posted a
career-first World Triathlon Series victory at the season’s Grand Final
in Cozumel, Mexico on the weekend, according to the SASCOC website.
And fellow Olympian Mari Rabie emulated her 11th spot from the Olympics in the women’s race.
Richard Murray did the same - ending fourth in the men’s race in what
turned out to be strangely similar to London.
Overall series winner was
Spain’s Mario Mola who pipped Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee by just four
points (4 819 to 4 815) after a season’s frantic racing.
Schoeman ended fourth overall (3 160) and Murray fifth (2 975).
The race was run in searing conditions and there was high drama as Jonathan
Brownlee felt the effects of the heat with less than a kilometre to run
and his Rio Olympics gold medallist brother Alistair stopped to give
assistance, helping him across the line.
The Spanish Triathlon
Federation lodged an appeal against illegal assistance, but the
International Triathlon Union competition jury unanimously over-ruled
The swim saw pretty much the same pack as in the Olympics a month ago and all three medallists were in the front pack.
On the run, Schoeman stuck to Jonathan Brownlee and the two were later
joined by Alistair. As the drama involving the brothers unfolded
Schoeman hit the lead as the trio hit the blue carpet finish stretch.
The Durban athlete went on to win in 1:46.50, 18 seconds clear of
both Brownlee brothers who crossed the line together.
Murray, who broke
his collarbone in Australia earlier this year, took fourth in 1:47.35.
Schoeman told the official triathlon website: ‘I knew it was going to be
warm out there. I just tried to stay calm throughout the whole race. I
was just running with the Brownlees and trying not to exert too much and
then I saw Jonny pull ahead on that third lap.
‘So it is just so unfortunate that he collapsed at the end, I think both
Brownlees deserve one and two, but it is an overall race that counts
and I am the one who ended up the strongest. So I’m really happy with
the women’s race, it was Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who trains in Rabie’s
home town of Stellenbosch, who secured the grand final win.
bike leg saw her start the 10km run 1:07 clear and not even the
hard-running Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen could haul her in as she
clocked a combined time of 1:57.59, 17 seconds clear of Jorgensen.
As for Rabie, her time was 2:00:51. She told Road to Rio 2016: So I didn’t have the best swim, an OK bike and then I ran really well for the first 5km.
‘Still, a solid result and I raced more than any of those in front of me
this year in order to scramble for the Games. Overall, I’m happy to
walk away from the sport with an 11th at my last Senior Worlds, 14 years
after 10th at my first Junior Worlds also here in Mexico.’
South Africa’s other female entrant, two-time Olympian Gillian Sanders, failed to finish after a 20.05 swim leg.
Rabie ended the world rankings in 16th spot and Sanders 43rd.