Richard Murray, left. Picture: PABLO BLAZQUEZ DOMINGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES
Richard Murray, left. Picture: PABLO BLAZQUEZ DOMINGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES

SA’s Richard Murray scored his first World Triathlon Series (WTS) triumph over the Olympic distance in Leeds‚ England‚ on Sunday after a storming cycle race and an even more spectacular run.

Murray‚ who ended fourth in Rio Olympics in 2016‚ was effectively last coming out the 1,500m swim‚ with the four slower competitors failing to finish the race.

Despite a disadvantage of nearly a full minute behind the pace-setters‚ he caught up with the lead group on the cycle‚ clocking the second-fastest time on the 40km route.

On the 10km run he was the only one to dip under 31min as he sprinted to victory in an overall 1hr 45min 52sec‚ 9sec ahead of reigning world champion Mario Mola of Spain‚ also the leader of the 2018 WTS.

Countryman Henri Schoeman‚ the Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic bronze medallist‚ was 15th.

"During the swim today I actually thought I should retire from triathlon‚" Murray said.

"I was way behind the pack in the swim‚ it was really tough. But during the bike I started feeling better and by the run I felt pretty good… I’m delighted with my first win over the Olympic distance," said the 29-year- old Capetonian.

Murray is ranked eighth on the 2018 WTS, while Schoeman is fourth.

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