Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
21 May 2019
9:18 am

Henri rockets up the rankings

Wesley Botton

SA's triathlon hero finds his mojo after a slow start to 2019.

Gold medalist Henri Schoeman of South Africa celebrates during the medal ceremony for the during the Men's Triathlon on day one of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Southport Broadwater Parklands on April 5, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Eager to chase Olympic gold in Tokyo next year, Henri Schoeman was pleased to regain his best form on Japanese soil, and returned to the podium at the World Triathlon Series race in Yokohama last week.

Having settled for fourth place in defence of his World Cup title in Cape Town in February, Schoeman had struggled to get his 2019 campaign off the ground, finishing seventh at the opening leg of the World Series in Abu Dhabi before ending 15th in the second leg in Bermuda.

Taking second place behind French athlete Vincent Luis at the third leg in Yokohama, however, he rocketed five places up the World Series rankings, settling in third overall.

“I really wanted that [podium],” Schoeman said. “I’ve had some disappointing performances and I really wanted to come out here and have a good result.”

After securing the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and winning gold at last year’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, Schoeman had established himself among the early favourites for the Olympic crown in Tokyo next season.

However, he struggled to maintain his consistency on the international circuit and had not finished in the top three in the final World Series rankings, achieving his best performance in 2016 when he ended fourth overall.

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