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Injury and poor health sideline SA’s Schoeman and Sanders

Schoeman

By Mark Etheridge

There were let-downs in Leeds for South Africa’s Rio Olympians Henri Schoeman and Gillian Sanders on Sunday.

Neither managed to finish the World Triathlon Series, both having health and injury issues to deal with.

Rio bronze medallist Schoeman had a good swim, coming out of the 1500-metre swim just six seconds behind Slovakia’s Richard Varga, but lost more than a minute on the 40km bike leg and pulled out during the 10km run.

Schoeman has been feeling some discomfort in his knee and foot, and said it was tough having to call it quits.

‘I haven’t DNF [Did not Finish] for a very long time and it’s tough to make the decision. A niggle isn’t very healthy this week and I had to make a call with it getting worse. I’m still on the road and don’t want big complications right now.

‘Awesome support out here and very interesting course…  fitness is good! On to camp 2 …,’ he said on social media after the event.

The race was dominated by the Brownlee brothers, Alistair winning in 1hr 46min 51sec, 12 seconds ahead Jonathan.

Spaniard Fernando Alarza, winner of the Cape Town sprint event last year, was third in 1:47:28.

As for Sanders, she had said in the week before the race (and after a solid 15th spot in last week’s Cagliari World Cup) that she was coming down with a bug.

And so it proved to be, as she exited the swim almost 90sec back.

‘The lurgy unfortunately got worse as the week wore on,’ Sanders explained. ‘The race doc advised against racing, but I was hoping for a miracle… that didn’t happen. Health first I guess.’

Sanders is now back home in London, recovering for a French GP event and then the Hamburg leg of the series.

The women’s race was won by Bermuda’s Flora Duffy in 1:57:02 from American Taylor Spivey (1:58:32) and Italian Alice Betto (1:59:36).

Picture of Schoeman on the bike leg courtesy of ITU Media


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