Henri Schoeman of South Africa, right, high-fives his teammate Richard Murray while racing at the Commonwealth Games. Photo: Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Commonwealth Games champion Henri Schoeman will be looking to consolidate his lead on the World Triathlon Series (WTS) rankings at the inaugural Bermuda leg over the weekend.

Schoeman won the WTS Abu Dhabi event before winning the Gold Coast Games title, but it could be a different ball game in the first event over the Olympic distances this season.

The Olympic Games bronze medalist holds a slim 75-point lead over Spaniard Mario Mola, who will also be in the race.

“I’m excited to race in a new country and on a new course,” Schoeman told the International Triathlon Union

“I believe it’s going to be a difficult bike and run course which I think is great.

“I’ve had a great start to the season and I don’t want to put pressure on myself, I’m just going to enjoy it.”

While Schoeman has excelled in the sprint events, he has an affinity for the Olympic distances  1.5km swim, 40km cycle, and 10km run.

Schoeman was in a class of his own in Abu Dhabi where he became only the second male triathlete after two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee to win both the swimming and cycling events to go on to clinch a WTS title. He beat defending series champion Mola in a mad dash on the 5-kilometre run leg.

Fellow South African Richard Murray made a strong start to the season, winning the ITU Cape Town World Cup before adding the Mooloolaba title.

Murray failed to fire at the Commonwealth Games where he finished in sixth place clocking 53.04.

“I wanted to win the men’s race or at least finish on the podium, so ending up in sixth place and 33 seconds off first place, was a bad one for me,” Murray wrote on the Red Bull website.

“My training went flawlessly leading up to the event and everything was going well until I came out of the water. I didn’t want to leave myself with too much to do on the run, so I tried to keep the pace as hot as possible. However, I buried myself on the ride. I did more than my fair share on the bike and paid for it on the run.”

Murray finished in 10th place at the first WTS in Abu Dhabi and will be looking to get over the disappointment from the Games.

Saturday Star

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