Canadian Murray wins SA triathlon

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Canadian triathlete Carolyn Murray was crowned the queen of the women's Richard's Bay leg of the BG World Cup in the City of uMhlathuze, KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday.

Under windy conditions, Murray fed off a great challenge from Australian Felicity Abram and Magali di Marco Messmer of Switzerland to power home in a time of 2hrs, 03min, 31sec.

It could have been different for Murray had Abram and the rest of the bunch not wilted towards the end, next to the quiet Alkant Beach.

Even South African favourite Kate Roberts, who could only make a strong challenge for a position in the South African Beijing Olympics team, was no match for the talented Canadian, who was clearly exhausted after the draining event. Roberts was the first South African home but had to contend with 20th position in a time of 2:06:18.

The Bloemfontein triathlete was ranked 43rd in the world before yesterday's event, but she was keen to finish within the top 40 in rankings to secure herself a passage to the quadrennial fiesta in Beijing in August.

The new rankings after the women's event were not immediately confirmed at print time yesterday.

"It was not easy today but I was encouraged and motivated by the support from my family, friends and the people of my country," said the Bloemfontein-based Roberts.

She intends competing in the other legs of the World Cup and in the World Championships in Canada on June 8, as these are also part of the Olympics qualifiers.

Mari Rabie, the second local to arrive home in a time of 2:07:56, has qualified for Beijing despite finishing 27th yesterday. She confirmed her ticket to Beijing when she won the All Africa Championships in Tunisia in March.

Rabie was followed by compatriots Corinne Berg (2:08:27) and Anel Swart ((2:08:39) who finished 28th and 29th, respectively.