By Chelsea White on 11/01/16 at 9:30 am
Javier Gomez Noya (ESP) added to his collection of titles and accolades when he crossed the finish line first at the 2015 Rio de Janeiro Test Event, ensuring he would line up again in 2016 as he fulfilled both his National Federation’s requirements for Olympic qualification and earned Spain a spot on the start list.
When it comes to momentous years, 2015 was quite possibly Richard Murray‘s (RSA) best yet.
Starting off the ITU season with a bronze medal in WTS Abu Dhabi, he then followed it up with a win at the New Plymouth World Cup. But as impressive as that was, it was the way that he ended his season that puts him on our Best of 2015 list.
In preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games this summer, 2015 brought forth the chance for a Rio Test Event, that a lot of National Federations used as a qualification event. Murray seized his opportunity and showcased an epic come-from-behind performance that punched his automatic Olympic ticket to Rio when he placed third.
During the race, Murray found himself among the chase pack on the bike. But after a swift second transition and a blistering run in the Brazilian heat, Murray was able to pick off men left and right, pulling himself up from a minute gap and onto the podium.
The bronze medal was enough to guarantee a spot for the South African to compete in his second Olympic Games. And if the reassurance that he would be competing at Copacabana Beach wasn’t enough to satisfy a successful season, Murray then continued a streak of winning in WTS Edmonton, earning the bronze in WTS Chicago and ending his ITU season by winning the Cozumel World Cup.