Words & Photo: Outsider Communications
This coming Saturday Richard Murray is not only looking for World Triathlon Series points but the WTS event in Yokohama is also the first opportunity for triathletes to get Olympic ranking points.
All WTS races from Yokohama onwards until 15 May 2016 will be opportunities to gain Olympic qualification points for the 2016 Brazil Olympics.
The Yokohama race is the third in the World Series after Auckland and Cape Town. Murray is currently in 13th place after his fifth place in Cape Town. He did not race in Auckland. Spain’s Javier Gomez is in the lead after winning the first two events.
Jonathan Brownlee won last year’s Yokohama race. Gomez has been second for the past two years. Murray was one of a few runners who ran a sub 30-minute 10km in 2013. He then finished fifth. Both Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee will be in action, while Gomez will be the favourite.
This past weekend Murray won the Bundesliga Triathlon in Buschhütten as part of the EJOT Team TV Buschhütten. Along with Murray in the team were Franz Löschke, Steffan Justus and Gregor Buchholz. “It was a hard swim, but we worked well together on the bike. It was great to cross the finish-line with the team for the victory in the town where our team is based.”
Even though the Yokohama course may be flat, it’s the technical bike corners that require constant breaking from high speeds that will guarantee a lingering burn for the athletes. The course doesn’t lend itself well to breakaways. But Murray and Mario Mola showed in Cape Town, that doesn’t matter much. These training partners absolutely demolished the competition on the last discipline, running themselves from a minute deficit into the top five with the fastest run splits of the day. Mola split an eye-popping 29:58 10km time meaning this Spaniard can get business done if he is anywhere near the leaders off the bike.
Murray has some good memories from Japan and even though he arrives only a few days before the event, he is not worried that it will have an influence on the race. “I am looking forward to Saturday. It will be the first opportunity for us to gather Olympic ranking points so it is very important to have a good race. In the past I have had some good run splits so let’s hope for that again! I only arrive on Thursday, but I don’t think jet lag will play a role in my race.”
Action is Saturday morning 06:00 SA time.