The South African triathlon team is in the middle of a six week training programme to prepare them for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. National triathlon coach, Lindsey Perry is adamant that his team will bag a gold or two at this year’s event. His team is composed of five of the best that the sport has to offer, most notably Richard Murray whom much is expected from.
It is safe to say Murray is the strongest medal contender as he had podium finishes at two World Triathlon Series events in London and Japan finishing second and third respectively, a feat which he’s most likely to better at Glasgow as Perry revealed that he is in a really great form. “Richard is one of those guys that’s always positive. He’s looking forward to working and to doing his country proud,” said Perry explaining the possibilities of Murray swimming, running and riding to a gold medal. Much will also be expected from Henri Schoeman as well as the other three female athletes.
“Henri is our strong swimmer. If he gets into a break on the hard course he often surprises the big guys, and I am expecting him to do well,” said Perry. Talking about all the other athletes, Perry is certain that this is the time for all of them to do well. Kate Roberts is another whose career has been clouded by injuries but, whenever she’s at her peak her performance never leaves any questions.
Another class act performer, Gillian Sanders who trains and live in London, will be expected to do the country proud. “Her run is incredibly strong and she has improved her swimming a lot,” said Perry about Sanders’ performances and further mentioned that this year she had a great campaign in Japan at the World Triathlon Series where she finished tenth overall and was the second woman out of the Commonwealth countries. According to the coach, the whole team will be ready by the start of the Games, “I encourage everyone to watch both men and ladies races. I haven’t mentioned Kate Roberts who was once named in the top five in the world. So over the next six weeks if we can get her into that kind of shape it is possible for South Africa to come back home with more than one medal.”
Athletes start with a 1 500-metre open-water swim before switching to a 40-kilometre road cycle, finishing with a challenging 10-kilometre run. The races will take place early on at the Glasgow Games, on the 24th (men and women) and 26th (team relay) of July. To make things more interesting, there is a new event in triathlon at the Commonwealths which is a relay featuring two women and two men where they do a short circuit. Relating to that Perry said the team has a great chance of doing well in that too. The South African Commonwealth Games triathlon squad consists of: Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman, Wian Sullwald, Gillian Sanders and Kate Roberts.
Triathlon action will take place in and around the Strathclyde Country Park on the outskirts of Glasgow.