Richard Murray’s international season starts this Saturday when the 2014 ITU Triathlon World Cup season officially gets underway in Mooloolaba, Australia.
This will be Murray’s third World Cup race. Most top-flight international athletes rather focus on the ITU World Triathlon Series and not the World Cup events. The race will be sprint distances, meaning it will finish in less than an hour.
“I have always been keen to race in Mooloolaba. The sprint distances should spice things up a bit I think. It is usually very quick and fast paced,” said Murray, who has been training in New Zeeland for the past few weeks.
After the African Sprint Cup at Blouberg in February Murray joined up with his training squad under the guidance of coach Joel Filliol. “My training partners – Mario Mola, Joao Silva and David Hauss – are looking really strong. It was a great few weeks in Christchurch. We are all very amped to get going.”
Mola from Spain is the favourite for the victory. He is a super fast runner and one of the few athletes that can win a race on the final leg. France’s Hauss finished fourth at the 2012 Olympic Games and after taking off most of the 2013 season he will be making his return to ITU racing this Saturday.
The big focus will once again be on the swimming leg for Murray. The field is full of strong swimmers and that will up the ante in this discipline that is the one Murray wants to better every season. “It could be a very tough swim.” Murray’s goal is to close the gap on the front swimmers.
After the race in Mooloolaba Murray will come back to South Africa on the 18th to prepare for the South African Championships on 23 March in East London. After that he will also race at the African Championships in Zimbabwe on 13 April. “The focus is to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, which is in Scotland in June.”
The ITU World Triathlon Series in Cape Town is on 27 April.