YOKOHAMA – South Africa’s trio of triathletes left empty-handed from the Yokohama leg of the World Triathlon Series on Saturday.
Commonwealth Games athletes Henri Schoeman, Richard Murray and Wian Sullwald all found it tough going in Japan.
Schoeman failed to finish, Murray was 25th in one hour 47 minutes and 47 seconds, and Sullwald 33rd in 1:48:33, on a day the three will probably wish to forget.
The winner was the sensational Spaniard Mario Mola who raced to his third consecutive win at this venue in a time of 1:44:59 from Aussie Jake Birtwhistle and Spaniard Fernando Alarza, the last-named winner of the Cape Town leg of the series a few years back.
Schoeman, the Commonwealth champion a month ago, told Team SA: “It’s disappointing having to DNF [did not finish] but it’s for the best.
“My calf was not feeling good at all and I was limping during the run.
“To prevent it from getting worse and possible injury, I needed to stop.
“It’s a pity, especially after I executed a very good bike, one of my easiest bikes I’ve ever had, and I was ready for a big run.”
Murray, who failed to finish in Bermuda two weeks ago, had to guts it out on Saturday.
“It’s been tough times.. but I had to keep going,” he told Team SA. “On the bike I felt like I was going to throw up from the first lap… I fell out of the front group and then two guys managed to pass and managed to pull me back to the bunch on the first lap.
“Going out to the run I had stomach cramps from the first lap. I was in absolute agony after the first lap, but just thought to myself I that I simply HAVE to finish this one.
“So I just hung in there and got across the finish line… now I’m taking a break to recharge and it’s on to the next one I guess.”
By next one, Murray is targeting the Leeds leg. The good news for Murray, though, was that the back injury which saw him having to call it quits in Bermuda showed no re-appearance on this occasion.