Witten by Mark Etheridge.
For coaches like Lindsey Parry Saturday, 26 July was what make the hours of strategising, sweating and stressing perfectly bearable.
For Saturday was the day that saw one of the best results yet for South African triathlon as the team sprinted to silver in the mixed team relay.
The quartet of Kate Roberts, Henri Schoeman, Gill Sanders and Richard Murray flew the South African flag high as they came in behind the all-conquering England side and held off fellow southern hemisphere side Australia down the final straight at Strathclyde Country Park.
The four combined for a time of 1:14:13 over the 400m swim, 6km bike and 1.6km run.
‘It was insane,’ coach Parry told the SASCOC website after the race. ‘Kate started well with a big swim and bike and although she battled a little on the run but she still kept us just in the hunt.
‘Henri swam the fastest split of the day but it was his run that did the trick, pulling us right into the medal fight. Gill had the swim of her life and on the run stuck to the girls like glue which meant Rich was again primed to win us a medal.
‘He had a good group so they easily caught New Zealand and the race for silver was on. The excitement once we crossed the line second was immense.
‘We discussed how silver was possible if we all did our bit. As the coach, it was unbelievable to see how our plan worked perfectly.
‘Our strength was that we didn’t have a weak link and we knew all the other teams had one leg they had to worry about so when we were a touch off after the first leg no one panicked and we just stuck to the plan.
‘Special thanks to our athletes’ personal coaches too for getting them ready for Team SA.’ Those are Alisdair Hatfield, Joe Schoeman and Carlos Prieto for Schoeman, Joel Filliol for Murray and James Beckinsale for Sanders.
As for African champion Schoeman he was just as happy. ‘The race went perfectly to plan. I managed to gain time after the swim and biked myself nearly into the front group again.
‘I had a great run to put Gill in a good position and back into the race. We scored 100% for team effort today.’
And the rest of Team South Africa will doff their hats to triathlon who contributed two medals (silver and bronze) to the team cause.