SA team bags silver in triathlon

2014-07-27 15:00

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Richard Murray has added a silver medal to the bronze he took on Thursday in the individual event. He anchored South Africa’s team to second place in the triathlon mixed relay at the Commonwealth Games yesterday.

Staged in Strathclyde Park, the event – which involves each athlete completing a 250m swim, 6km bike ride and 1.6km run – was making its debut at a major games. Murray held on to put the finishing touches to fine earlier work by Kate Roberts, Henri Schoeman and Gill Sanders.

Although defying the odds to gain another unexpected medal, the South Africans finished 49 seconds behind England’s awesome foursome of Vicky Holland, Jonny Brownlee, Jodie Stimpson and Alistair Brownlee.

Australia came third.

England’s dream team completed a clean sweep of gold medals in the triathlon.

Holland, Jonny Brownlee, Stimpson and Alistair Brownlee were all medallists in the individual events on Thursday, and the latter two won gold.

Britain won the world team championship in Hamburg, Germany, two weeks ago with a weaker team and against stronger opposition. Because of this, England were the overwhelming favourites for gold.

Holland was the early leader but it was Canada’s individual silver medallist, Kirsten Sweetland, who handed over in first place after a strong run.

Northern Ireland and New Zealand were also up with the lead group but they had both put their strongest woman on in the first leg.

Jonny Brownlee took over after Holland and the four leaders formed a pack on the bike.

The English athlete made a break for it over the final 500m but then gave his advantage away with a poor transition.

Spurred on by that, he sprinted past his rivals immediately and, by the time he handed over to Stimpson, he had built a lead of 16 seconds over New Zealand.

Nicky Samuels worked hard to catch Stimpson on the bike but the English athlete quickly pulled away on the run to give her fellow individual champion Alistair Brownlee a nine-second head-start over Ryan Sissons.

The race was hotting up behind him, with Northern Ireland having fallen away, but Australia, South Africa and Canada were all in contention.

They quickly caught Sissons and it was no surprise that it was individual bronze medallist Richard Murray who surged ahead to take silver ahead of Ryan Bailie.

»In rugby sevens action, Seabelo Senatla scored a hat-trick of tries as the Blitzbokke powered to a 38-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in their opening game.

Kenya, South Africa’s strongest opponents in Pool B, beat the Cook Islands 28-0.

New Zealand, chasing a fifth successive Games gold medal in sevens, laid down a strong marker by beating the highly rated Canadians 39-0 in their opening game.

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