South African Richard Murray and the rest of the triathlon world will start one of the most anticipated triathlon seasons this Saturday with the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series kicking off in Abu Dhabi.
Some of the world’s fastest athletes will toe the UAE start line for a chance of earning the first World Rankings points of the year, all leading up to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in August. Last year Abu Dhabi joined the WTS calendar and became the first Middle Eastern city to ever host a WTS event. In 2016 the race was over sprint distances, but this time around the course will feature the standard Olympic 1.5 kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10-kilometre run distance.
Murray had a phenomenal 2015 season and will most definitely like to continue this streak. Ranked fourth overall last year, he earned the bronze medal in Abu Dhabi last season. The reigning Abu Dhabi champion is Mario Mola from Spain. Murray has been training with the Joel Filliol squad the past few months. The squad started with a camp on the small island Fuerteventura in the Gran Canary Islands before moving to Mallorca to end the pre-season training.
“I am really looking forward to start my season this weekend. My training has been really focused with my coach Joel Filliol and the squad for the past few months. I’m taking a slower approach to the season than previous years and will grow strength and speed during the season building towards the big one in Rio,” said Murray.
There will be now Javier Gomez or Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan at the first WTS race of the season.
Action starts at 11:06 local time on Saturday.