JOHANNESBURG - Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray are set for another brutal duel on the Mother City next year when they continue their bitter local rivalry at the Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town on February 11.
South Africa’s two leading male triathletes have been confirmed for the opening race of the 2018 International Triathlon Union (ITU) global calendar which spells fireworks for the swim, cycle, run event.
This year’s race produced a thrilling and historic finish as the country’s top three triathletes, spearheaded by Murray, claimed a clean sweep.
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Schoeman, and former world junior champion Wian Sullwald shared the podium with winner Murray, finishing second and third respectively.
The stellar start to the season held immense promise for South African triathlon, but it did not pan out quite as well as expected.
But Murray still managed to a top-five finish on the World Triathlon Series (WTS) rankings with Schoeman missing out on a place among the top 10 men.
Schoeman managed two second-place World Cup finishes as he brought the curtain down in emphatic fashion by finishing third at the weekend’s lucrative Island House Triathlon Invitational in the Bahamas.
“It has been an up-and-down year; it started off well (in Cape Town) with a podium, but I maybe tried to add too many races this season which included German Bundesliga and French Grand Prix’s,” said Schoeman.
“I had a huge amount of races squeezed into one year... I wanted to try everything and I think it diluted my performances.”
The Olympic bronze medallist said the fight for the Cape Town title will not only be for local bragging rights but the race would also prepare South Africa’s triathletes ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April. “The Cape Town World Cup will be an ideal set-up for Abu Dhabi and then the Commonwealth Games,” Schoeman said.
“The Commonwealth Games is relatively early in the year... we actually have to get our racing going pretty early.”