Henri Schoeman just missed out on a bronze medal on Saturday. Photo: Nic Bothma, EPA

JOHANNESBURG – Pipped at the finish, Henri Schoeman’s race at the Yokohama World Triathlon Series (WTS) ended in heartbreak on Saturday as he had to settle for fourth place after he had his hands on the bronze medal.

The Olympic bronze medallist got involved in a three-way tussle with Spain’s Fernando Alarza and Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt for the silver and bronze medals over the final lap.

Schoeman was one of the first men out of the water, with Olympic silver medallist Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain leading the charge going into the cycling leg.

Brownlee’s race effectively ended after a bike crash just outside the second transition, with Schoeman, Hungary’s Gabor Faldum and Blummenfelt taking the lead going into the run leg.

The Briton picked up his bicycle to complete the cycle leg before finishing the race in 42nd place.

Reigning ITU world champion Mario Mola soon caught up with the leading men on the run course before the Spaniard opened a sizeable gap, which he maintained to claim the title.

Behind him, Schoeman, Blummenfelt and Alarza scrapped over the remaining two places on the podium as they each took turns to break.

Alarza pulled away to claim silver, with Schoeman looking set to earn his first WTS podium finish of the season.

This was not to be as a storming Blummenfelt sprinted past Schoeman to claim bronze with a three-second advantage.

While Schoeman will be gutted about missing out on a medal, he climbed one place on the WTS rankings to fourth, with his absent fellow South African Richard Murray dropping to fifth place from second.

Getting caught up in the crash, another South African in former world junior champion Wian Sullwald kept his wits about him on a badly damaged bicycle to make it safely through to the transition.

Sullwald turned in a fast run to finish in a credible 13th place, launching him into the top 10 on the WTS rankings in eighth.

South Africa currently have three men in the top 10 on the world rankings, confirming the country’s strength in the swim, bike and run event.

Meanwhile, Gillian Sanders did not finish the elite women’s race, with the South Africa’s top woman sliding five spots on the WTS rankings to 20th.


Sunday Independent

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter