Murray eighth in Hungary | TeamSA - TeamSA

Murray eighth in Hungary

South Africa’s Richard Murray had a great race at Sunday’s ITU World Cup triathlon in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, placing eighth in a top quality field for the best World Cup result of his career, writes Mark Etheridge.

The 22-year-old Cape Town athlete clocked a combined time of 1hr 49min 39sec for the 1500-metre swim, 40-kilometre cycle and 10km run. His swim was 19:15, bike 58:24 and he rounded things off with a 31:33 run.

Before the competition the Germany based athlete had been in confident frame of mind: “I’ve been training for a good spell now, about four weeks. This race is a big one for me ahead of World Sprint Champs in Lausanne [20 August]. I have to feature well in Tiszaujvaros to get in for the Yokohama (Japan) event on 11 September. So I also need Lausanne to go well to set me up for a great next year at the World Championships Series.”

Sunday’s elite men’s race was won by Canada’s Brent McMahon in 1:48:16, meaning Murray was just 1:23 off the pace. Just 28 seconds separated positions five to 10.

Murray’s fellow South African, Claude Eksteen also had a good showing, ending 13th in 1:50:07 with splits of 19:09, 58:56 and 31:12.

Meanwhile at the same event Gillian Sanders’ road to the London 2012 Olympics hit a Hungarian hurdle on Sunday when she failed to finish. London based Sanders had hoped to build on her 23rd spot at the London leg of the series last weekend but it was not to be.

After coming out of the swim in 21:02 (Japan’s Akane Tsuchihashi was first out in 19:22) she set off on the bike leg where disaster struck and her machine’s chain broke.

That was the end of her day. “It’s just a bummer having gone all that way and then having a mechanical but it happens to everyone at some stage,” said Sanders from London.

“I suppose I’m just lucky it wasn’t last weekend. Next up is the WCS World Sprint Series in Lausanne this weekend and I’ll have to redeem myself and let out this weekend’s frustration.”

The race was won by American Gwen Jorgensen who went one better than her runners-up spot in London last weekend. Jorgensen clocked a combined total of 1hr 59min 04sec. That was eight seconds better than second-placed Annamaria Mazzetti and a further 16seconds clear of third-placed Irina Abysova of Russia.