There were thrills and spills for the Irish triathletes at the Tiszaujvaros World Cup in Hungary including sprint finishes, turn buoy carnage, pre race emergencies and some quality race performances
Conor Murphy breezed through the heats and into the final of the Tiszaujvaros World Cup over the weekend. Murphy knocked out a 9:05 750m swim and biked well in the lead pack. Then it was just a case of running hard enough the finish in the top 10, which he did with a 5th place finish.
Team mates Russell White in Semi Final 2 and Ben Shaw in Semi Final 3 just missed out on Sunday’s final as they failed to progress.
Shaw was a shade outside the top 10 in 11th position. Things were looking good for the 22 year old as he was part of a breakaway, however couldn’t hold on during the run. A major causality from that race was Great Britain’s Mark Buckingham who claimed a European Cup win just 3 weeks ago but finished right down in 15th in Semi Final 3.
Russell White was on a high after his performance as anchor of the Northern Irish team at the Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay Triathlon. White couldn’t reproduce that performance though and finished in 13th in a tough heat.
The 3 semi-finals had narrowed Sunday’s final down to 30 of the quickest men on the World Cup scene. The first turn buoy was located just a 100 or so meters from the start pontoon meaning a bottleneck and carnage for the 30 starters who couldn’t be separated.
“I got completely smashed round this turn buoy, wrong place, wrong time.” Commented Conor Murphy after the race.
The chaos of an elite level swim start wasn’t the only thing Murphy had to worry about. The Armagh man managed to slice his foot during the warm up.
“10 minutes before the start medics told me not to race. I lost about 200ml of blood after I sliced my foot in the swim warm up. I raced with a mummified foot. Race medics were awesome though”
Despite the pre race drama Murphy got onto the bike in the chase pack. He did much of the work to close in on the leaders over the 20km which included talented swim – bikers Richard Varga of Slovakia and Russia’s Polyanskiy brothers Igor and Dmitry.
By the end of the 20 kilometres they had all come together and it was down to the 5 kilometre foot race.
The surprise winner was home town hero Akos Vanek who clocked 15:13 to the delight of the crowd. Ireland’s Conor Murphy was 41 seconds back and just inside the top 20 in 19th place. The result sees Murphy jump 10 places on the ITU Points List to 96th however he won’t be satisfied and is aiming to continue his climb up the rankings with Rio on the horizon.
The Junior Elite race saw 2 Irish representatives in the form of Westport’s Con Doherty and Nenagh’s Darren Dunne.
Dunne was unlucky to miss out on a place in the final has he came down in a bike crash and finished down in 21st in Semi Final 3. Con Doherty had a smoother passage to the final as he won his heat in fine style.
Sunday’s final was thinned down to 30 with the Junior Men racing over a fast and furious 2 lap 500m swim, 5 lap 12.5km bike and 3 lap 3.6km run.
Doherty would go on to produce one of the fastest runs of the day but having missed the lead pack there was too much time to make up and the Westport teenage finished a very credible 10th in a stacked field.