South Africa’s Richard Murray and Carlyn Fischer got their respective seasons off to an excellent start at home, when they won the men’s and women’s titles at the 2012 Cape Town ITU Sprint Triathlon African Cup on Sunday.
With a water temperature of 14 degrees Celsius, both races started with a wetsuit swim. The men’s 750m lap did little to seperate the pack, over 20 athletes hit T1 together to start a technical 20km bike course.
Denmark’s Jens Toft managed to breakaway and entered T2 with a 40-second lead, but he was soon chased down by the rest of the pack that was being led by Murray and Great Britain’s Tim Don. It didn’t take long for Murray to push to the front though and he stayed there to claim the win.
It was Murray’s first ITU race in 2012, and it comes off an impressive 2011 for the two-time junior men’s ITU world duathlon champion. The 23-year-old claimed his first World Cup medal with silver Huatulco, and won his first African championships. The win in Cape Town means that Murray now also holds the South African 2012 sprint national title.
The rest of the men’s podium was also filled with athletes on the rise, Russia’s Igor Polyanskiy kept up his impressive run with silver while South Africa’s Erhard Wolfaardt claimed the bronze. It was Polyanskiy’s best ITU race result, following on from his bronze in the Under23 men’s race at the 2011 European titles and a fourth at the Bridgetown sprint event last week. It is the fourth consecutive podium for Wolfaardt, who won the All Africa Games, and Troutbeck and Pretoria-Tshwane African Cup events to finish his 2011 season.
Don, who is aiming to qualify for his fourth consecutive Olympic Games, finished 8th in his first race of 2012, while 2007 ITU World Champion Daniel Unger finished 5th.
In the women’s race, South Africa’s Mari Rabie was first out of the water in her first ITU race in almost a year, but not much separated the rest of the field in T1. Where the eventual medallists made their mark was in the bike leg, Fischer, Ricarda Lisk (GER), and Katrien Verstuyft (BEL) recorded the three fastest times over the 20km course and were first into T2.
Fischer then put in a 17 minute and 59 second run to take the title and the South African national sprint championship, while Verstuyft and Lisk held on for silver and bronze respectively.
|Results: Elite Women|
|4.||Vicky Van Der Merwe||RSA||01:01:51|