The 2018 ITU World Triathlon Yokohama was anything but kind to South Africa’s top trio over the weekend.
Commonwealth Games champion Henri Schoeman withdrew from the race during the run leg due to calve problems while Richard Murray suffered from nausea.
Murray battled through the sickness and held on to finish the race in 25th place in a time of 1:47:47, almost three minutes between WTS leader Mario Mola of Spain.
Featuring in his third triathlon of the season, former world junior champion Wian Sullwald crossed the line in 33rd place, clocking 1:48:23.
“Tried to hide the nausea today on the bike, was almost throwing up for 40k, had bad stitches/stomach cramps on run, needed to finish this race,” Murray said on Instagram.
“Taking a short break from training this week to get things back into perspective.
“Been a tough two months. Thanks for all the cheers and kind words everyone, life doesn’t always go to plan but you can choose your mentality.”
Schoeman, who has been one of the form guys this season after winning the opening leg of the WTS in Dubai and taking gold at the Commonwealth Games last month, was gutted by his withdrawal.
“While I despise a DNF, it was a wise decision with my calf pulling during the run,” Schoeman posted on social media.
“With the easiest bike I’ve ever had in a WTS, I was ready for a big run.”
The Yokohama event marked the start of the qualifying window for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the athletes will now be racing for crucial points in a bid to secure their places at the quadrennial showpiece.
The South Africans will look to fire on all cylinders at the inaugural Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham in early June where the qualifying process is set to continue.