Richard Murray always wants to be on the winner’s podium, but it wasn’t until he was halfway through his 10km run at the Commonwealth Games that he realised how desperately he wanted a medal for his country.
Murray, born in Durbanville on 4 January 1989, is a triathlete and multi-sporter extraordinaire. Having come first at the South African Triathlon Championships in East London in March earlier this year, he has also been awarded with the title of Highest Ranked ITU South African Triathlete. One may say this determined young man is racing over the golden road of success.
At the Commonwealth Games, Murray won bronze in the individual race behind Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and winner of bronze in London, Jonathan Brownlee. Two days later he won silver as part of the South African team that also included Henri Schoeman, Gillian Sanders and Kate Roberts. The English team – with Commonwealth champs Alistair Brownlee, Jodie Stimpson, Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland – won the gold.
“It was only during that last leg that the magnitude of the occasion finally dawned on me,” said Murray, after winning South Africa’s first medal in Glasgow. “I have talked about the Games and the possibility of winning a medal during the year, but it was only in the race that it finally became real that I was competing for my country. Here I was part of the South African team competing for our country, not just representing South Africa.”
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. Approved sports of the event include anything from badminton and diving, to cycling and squash. This year’s games mark the twentieth anniversary of the exciting event, and it is held in Glasgow.
“Winning medals at the Commonwealth Games is a stepping stone in my career. It is a big step in the right direction,” said an ecstatic Murray. “I am still getting better as an athlete and my swimming is also still a work in progress.”
Murray also mentioned that, now more than ever, triathlon is actually also a team sport. “As a team we are not as organised as the other major countries. We need to work better together. Especially looking to Rio in 2016, we need to pay more attention to that aspect of racing. If we can get it right like England and some of the other major contenders we will be there for the medal fight in Brazil.”
Murray is next off to Stockholm in Sweden for the penultimate race in the World Triathlon Series on 23 August. The WTS Grand Finale is in Edmonton, Canada on 1 September.
Information courtesy of Outsider Communications.