Hugely respected as one of the toughest competitors on the ITU circuit, South Africa’s Richard Murray gave us one of the highlights of the 2014 World Triathlon Series – a thrilling sprint finish against Spain’s Mario Mola in Hyde Park – but finished a disappointing 52nd in Edmonton and eighth overall in the series.


Speaking to 220 yesterday, he says that the end of last season was one of the negative moments of his career: falling ill straight after WTS Stockholm (where he came fifth) with just one week to go until the Grand Final, throw in some missing luggage… It’s fair to say Edmonton was a washout for South Africa’s leading ITU racer, after some superb earlier results that included bronze at WTS Yokohama, silver in Hyde Park plus a bronze at the Commonwealth Games.

So what’s he been up to since then? Training, and lots of it, it seems. “After Edmonton I sat down with my coach and asked, ‘What do I need to do between now and Rio to put myself in the position to shoot for a medal every race?’ I looked into it and decided I had to go to Europe earlier than I had planned. I wanted to spend the summer in South Africa like I usually do, but decided to put in the hard miles at the pool. I think more time with the training squad and fewer events in 2015 is what’s going to be the change.”