Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman capped a breakthrough season in dramatic fashion in the early hours of Monday morning (SA time), charging to victory at the World Triathlon Series final in Cozumel.
With British leader Jonathan Brownlee exhausted by the heat and reduced to a wobbly walk down the finishing straight, his brother Alistair stopped to assist and Schoeman drew clear to take his maiden series win. He completed the race in 1:46:50, with the Brownlee brothers crossing the line together, arm in arm, 17 seconds later.
Schoeman’s compatriot, Commonwealth Games medallist Richard Murray, finished fourth, a further 27 seconds behind. “I knew it was going to be warm out there, and I just tried to stay calm throughout the whole race,” Schoeman told the series website.
“I was just running with the Brownlees and trying not to exert too much, and then I saw Jonny pull ahead on the third lap.
“So it is just so unfortunate that he collapsed at the end because I think the Brownlees deserved (positions) one and two, but it is an overall race that counts, and I am the one who ended up the strongest, so I’m really happy with that.”
Spaniard Mario Mola earned the World Series title after nine legs in the campaign, with Schoeman finishing fourth overall in the rankings and Murray ending fifth, despite missing out on two months of competition after breaking his collarbone.
In the elite women’s race in Cozumel, Mari Rabie took 11th position in 2:00:51, nearly three minutes behind Flora Duffy of Bermuda, who won in 1:57:59.
Duffy lifted the series crown while Rabie finished 16th in the rankings and compatriot Gillian Sanders, who did not finish the final leg, was 43rd in the campaign.