Schoeman outwits Murray, crowned Champion

South African Henri Schoeman outshined countryman, Richard Murray, in the 2014 Troutbeck African Triathlon Union (ATU) Zimbabwe hosted in the resort town of Nyanga on Saturday.

Henri Schoeman opens the lead from the swim race
Henri Schoeman opens the lead from the swim race

Murray who is the current South African Champion usually beats Schoeman in international races, but the Troutbeck course appeared to have given him a new challenge competing for the first time.

It was an easy course for Schoeman who raced like he was at home after winning the Troutbeck in previous races. Saturday’s victory made it three in a row for him after winning the 2012 and 2013 edition of the Troutbeck Championship.

Schoeman told The Zimbabwean he was keeping an eye on Murray all the way.

“I made sure to keep the lead from the beginning, usually my swim is good and I used it to my advantage, I kept looking back to check where he (Murray) was and it was comforting not to see him very close,” said Schoeman.

“It feels good to defend my African title and I am going to be recovering well for the next two weeks before the World Championships in South Africa that are coming in two weeks. I had an injury after I raced in Auckland but today’s race helped me strengthen myself.”

In the women’s race, Gillian Sanders, from South Africa who was racing in Troutbeck for the first time reclaimed her African Championship title to make it three years in a row.

“It means a lot for me to be able to defend my title, the course was a bit challenging. I did not struggle with the cold because I have experienced such before,” she said.

Richard Murray closes in the gap on Henri Schoeman on Saturday
Richard Murray closes in the gap on Henri Schoeman on Saturday

Sanders came out of the water behind countryman Mari Rabie who was leading the pack after a good swim. Rabie later fall to the champion’s endurance on the bike and running course to settle for a third place with Lauren Dance coming second.

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, Admire Masenda, who attended the event, was impressed but Triathlon Zimbabwe’s administrative skills to successfully host a competition of this magnitude.

“We need other organisations or sports Associations emulating from Triathlon. I am really impressed with the level of professionalism displayed here and we need this in sports to attract sponsors,” said Masenda.

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