Murray makes case for Olympic berth
Edmontonian overcomes 75-second deficit to take South African triathlon
Source: Canwest News Services Sunday, May 04, 2008
RICHARDS BAY, SOUTH AFRICA
Carolyn Murray of Edmonton made a huge statement Sunday, winning the Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup in South Africa, the first World Cup title of her career and the 40th in Canadian triathlon history.
Murray’s previous best World Cup result was an eighth-place finish in Corner Brook, N.L., in 2005.
The victory showed that Murray is a strong contender for selection to the Canadian Olympic team.
“This is something I’ve been dreaming of forever,’’ Murray said at the finish line.
Murray needs a top-8 finish at the world championships in Vancouver on June 8 to earn a guaranteed spot in Beijing.
Montreal’s Kathy Tremblay also had an excellent outing with a fourth-place finish.
Both women jump into the top 10 in the world rankings; Tremblay to No. 8 and Murray to 10th. Vancouver’s Lauren Groves crossed the finish line in 13th place.
Murray’s victory extended a Canadian win streak in South Africa as Kirsten Sweetland of Victoria also broke through for her first World Cup win at Richard Bay last year. Sweetland chose not to defend her title at this year’s event.
Murray’s race did not start out promising as she exited the swim one minute and 15 seconds behind the leader, American Olympic hopeful Sarah Groff. But working with strong cyclist Tania Haiboeck of Austria, they reeled in the leaders and brought themselves back into contention.
“I had to work my butt off on the bike and it paid off. It finally paid off,’’ said Murray. “I really had a terrible swim and I didn’t realize how far back I was until I got to the bikes and there weren’t any left.
“I knew if I didn’t do anything, . . . the race was over. I had to go for it. On the run I thought, ‘This is game on. Today is my day and I’m going for it.’ ’’
Just shy of the halfway mark on the 10 kilometre run, Murray started to break away and took a slim four-second lead on Tremblay and Magali Di marco of Switzerland, the 2000 Olympic bronze medallist.
With Australian Felicity Abram charging hard in the late stages, Murray held on for the biggest win of her career by a three-second margin. Abram took the silver, edging out last year’s silver medallist Di marco.
Over on the men’s side, Kyle Jones of Oakville, Ont., also posted his best World Cup result, a fourth-place finish in a highly competitive race won by world champion Daniel Unger of Germany.
Jones also fulfills the first requirement for Olympic selection with his top-8 performance.
**Articles published in the Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and National Post Monday, April 5, 2008