By Mark Etheridge
Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman raced to a silver medal at the Cagliari World Cup in Italy at the weekend.
And two-time Olympian Gillian Sanders atoned for her wretched outing at the Tokyo leg of the World Triathlon series last month, by racing into a solid 15th spot in the women’s race.
Schoeman led from early on in the swim and came out of the 750-metre swim with Frenchman Anthony Pujades.
Early into the 20km bike the race evolved into a six-strong pack which stayed away from the bunch on the last four laps. On the run Schoeman and Pujades broke away with Switzerland’s Andrea Briffod.
They stayed together until the final 100m when Briffod pulled away to win in 54min 49sec, just three seconds clear of Schoeman.
Pujades was third a further six seconds back.
As for Sanders, she slayed a few demons after her Tokyo experience when she was swum over repeatedly and had to pull out in the bike leg.
She clocked 1:03:47 as Jolanda Annen made it a double win for Switzerland in 1:02:04, with American Kirsten Kasper second in 1:02:28.
Both Schoeman and Sanders will line up in Leeds this weekend for the World Triathlon Series event.
‘The race was fun,’ said Sanders, back at her London base. ‘I really wanted to go into the lion’s den and put any swim demons behind me, which I did.
‘It was my best swim of the season so far and I came out around 10sec behind the leader. The bike was a very hilly course and I battled a bit to get going on the first lap, so subsequently missed the front pack. I didn’t taper down for the race with Leeds this weekend, so it was inevitable that my legs may feel a bit tired.
‘I felt awful on the first lap of the run, but then picked it up nicely for the other two laps, finishing 15th. I’m looking forward to Leeds, but I’m fighting a cold that arrived yesterday.
‘Fingers crossed it’s gone by Sunday. I’m not panicking though and am thinking about Henri in the Olympics when he was ill a few days before…and that ended well.’
The only other South Africans in action were Carlyn Fischer, who was 27th in 65:54, while Australia-based Anel Radford failed to finish after being just 10sec down after the swim.
Picture of Schoeman courtesy of ITU Media