Richard Murray, one of the athletes considered a medal contender at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, has revealed in an Instagram post that he has been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation, a heart condition that involves an irregular and rapid heart rate due to abnormal electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart.
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Murray finished fourth at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and was 17th at the 2012 Games in London. After the Olympics were postponed to 2021, Murray posted some amazing individual running splits in his training and build up to the Games this year – we reported on his impressive solo 13:37 5 km effort on the roads near his wife Rachel Klamer’s home in the Netherlands, and Canadian Running Magazine reported on his blazing 28:04 10 km run, the third-fastest in South African history, last October. In November he was back at it again, posting a 4:05 mile effort after a two hour bike ride.
Murray has been a regular at the Super League Triathlon (SLT) events over the years, so it was a bit unusual that he wasn’t part of the recent SLT Arena Games races in London and Rotterdam. It would appear that the heart issues were the reason he wasn’t able to compete.
“It has been some of the hardest months for me mentally due to it,” he wrote in his Instagram post, “not knowing if I will be able to compete at the highest level again, but I will keep the spirit high and do everything I can to be back competing.”
“Many top athletes have had it and I hope we can fix it or at least get time to the start line in Tokyo this year,” he says. “I’m not done yet.”