Last year we reported on the unfortunate news that South African Olympian Richard Murray, who finished fourth at the 2016 Games in Rio, had 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.
Murray would require surgery for the condition – he had the surgery in June, 2021, just six weeks before the Games in Tokyo. He would make a miraculous comeback and travel to Tokyo to compete at the Games, but decided to withdraw from the individual race in order to focus on the relay. Then the South African team had to withdraw from that race after Murray’s teammate Henri Schoeman had to pull out due to an injury. Which meant that Murray didn’t compete through the rest of 2021.
Today Murray made his return to racing in style with a win at the Blue Lagoon Triathlon Sprint Triathlon. While there wasn’t anywhere near the same level of competition he’s used to competing against at World Triathlon events (his wife, Rachel Klamer finished second), Murray took the win in 1:00:49, with Klamer just under seven minutes back in 1:07:23.
“Happy to be able to do what I love again,” Murray said in a post on Instagram that also featured some video from the race.
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The event also featured a standard-distance race which was won by Ironman champion Matt Trautman (1:54:55), with two-time Xterra world champion Bradley Weiss finishing second (1:55:27). Natia Gous took the women’s standard-distance race in 2:16:10.
You can find results from today’s race here.