SA fail to medal at triathlon World Cup in Cape Town

10 February 2019 - 20:16 By David Isaacson
South Africa's Henri Schoeman celebrates winning the men’s triathlon final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Southport Broadwater Parklands venue in Gold Coast on April 5, 2018.
South Africa's Henri Schoeman celebrates winning the men’s triathlon final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Southport Broadwater Parklands venue in Gold Coast on April 5, 2018.
Image: ADRIAN DENNIS / AFP

Just like Eskom‚ Commonwealth Games champion Henri Schoeman ran out of power as he finished fourth in the Discovery World Cup crown in Cape Town on Sunday.

Loadshedding delayed the start of the men’s race by 15 minutes or so as organisers scrambled to source power for the timing system‚ but Schoeman still had a strong swim and cycle to transition first into the final run leg.

But when Briton Alex Yee powered past him early on that final 5km stretch‚ Schoeman was unable to counter.

“I had nothing in my legs‚” said Schoeman‚ who lost another two spots to Tony Smorgiewicz of the US and Joao Silva of Portugal in a sprint for the line.

There was also a delay in releasing the official results.

Schoeman‚ the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist‚ was the men’s favourite after the withdrawal of compatriot Richard Murray‚ the two-time defending champion who had struggled first with an ankle injury and then a bout of gastro this week.

“I think I might have caught a bit of the gastro from the other guys this week‚” said Schoeman. “It’s just not my best day.”

Gillian Sanders was the first SA woman home‚ crossing the line in fifth place in 58:10 after a strong run.

“The main thing was to be in contact with the swim‚” said a beaming Sanders‚ who has been working on her swimming with Pietermaritzburg-based coach Wayne Riddin.

After a terrible 2018 season‚ Sanders is hoping to turn things around this year as she chases qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“If this is the way this year is going to go‚ bring it on.”

Japan’s Ai Ueda won the race in 57:23 ahead of Americans Summer Rappaport (57:31) and Tamara Gorman (57:44) and Murray’s Dutch fiancée Rachel Klamer‚ another of the gastro bug victims (57:58).

Youth Olympic Games champion Amber Schlebusch was the second SA woman home‚ 28th overall in 59:56 after Simone Ackermann faded to end 32nd.

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