Richard Murray still chasing Paris Olympics despite heart condition limitations

Richard Murray shares what keeps the fire burning on the road to Paris 2024.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

For long time fans of the sport, Richard Murray is a name synonymous with short course triathlon. With his first race internationally dating back to 2005 at the ITU Duathlon Junior World Champs, the 34 year old has enjoyed a career spanning close to two decades at the top of the sport.

Having raced for his native South Africa in the Olympic Games on two separate occasions, in London and Rio de Janeiro, Murray now represents the Netherlands along with his wife Rachel Klamer and is gunning for a third appearance at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games next summer.

Detailing how he is dealing with a heart condition and sharing what keeps the fire burning bright after spending so long in the sport in our interview, Murray epitomises what short course triathlon is all about. Having also started coaching, it seems the WTCS winner is destined to spend a lifetime involved in the sport he loves.


Rollercoaster season

After missing the Tokyo Olympics and the entirety of the 2021 season with health issues, Murray struggled to find the balance between health and fitness in 2022, but shared that this year has been a step forward.

Richard Murray racing for the Netherlands photo credit Tommy Zaferes and World Triathlon
[Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon]

He told us: “My heart condition atrial fibrillation is not gone and I need to race and train within my limits which is difficult. At the moment, I am learning to trust my heart again, which is tricky at times, but I am feeling better. If I can race within my health limits, I will, all the way until I retire.”

Notching a season’s best of fifth at WTCS Sunderland but not finishing on tough days in Cagliari and Paris, the top tier of racing was hit and miss for Murray in 2023. However, the Team Netherlands athlete was happy with some aspects of his campaign after initially having to scrape together points in Continental Cups to qualify for the WTCS earlier in the year.

“After my heart issue, I have had a season of ups and downs. Whilst I didn’t qualify for Paris [in 2023], I made steps in fitness and improvements in a number of areas compared with last season. I initially raced Continental Cups for points to get into the bigger events, improved my ranking and raced in the WTCS and Paris Test Event before doing some World Cups for fun.”

The road ahead

Recounting his last two races in Morocco and Italy before finishing the season, Murray has some key takeaways from the year ahead of a big winter preparing for Paris and is confident he can get back to where he needs to be.

“After back to back races to finish the season [World Triathlon Cups in Tangier and Rome], I’m both happy and unhappy with my results. I really enjoyed visiting Rome and Tangier, but finishing outside of the Top 10 for me at a World Cup is not what I was looking for. This winter, I need to concentrate on increasing my general base fitness and dialling in my swim fitness and technique.

Finally, on what keeps him motivated to push for Paris, Murray revealed that the Team Netherlands set up, with their ambitions for a medal in the Mixed Team Relay, helps keep the spirit high, as does his new work as a coach.

Team Netherlands Richard Murray and Rachel Klamer in the MTR.
Rachel Klamer tags in teammate and husband Richard Murray [Photo Credit – World Triathlon/Ben Lumley]

“Switching to the Netherlands was easy, as the support is great and I can now focus on what matters, which is racing and training. I am excited for the Mixed Team Relay and think getting in the medals is a real possibility. I have also started coaching and I am excited for my future doing that in the next two or so years!”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Anne Haug wins IRONMAN Lanzarote 2024
Anne Haug bounces back with SENSATIONAL season opener at IRONMAN Lanzarote
Jenny Lucas-Hill wearing the Sumarpo vanguard triathlon wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
WTCS Cagliari 2023 podium - Alex Yee, Hayden Wilde, Leo Bergere
WTCS Cagliari: Start time, preview and how to watch live
PTO European Open 2023 Ibiza - Max Neumann
Former PTO Tour winner targeting triathlon comeback at London T100 after injury spell
India Lee (GBR) and Kyle Smith (NZL) celebrate together at the finish line in Samorin.
Victorious India Lee and Kyle Smith react to course record breaking day at The Championship
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Men Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times for Kyle Smith, Joe Skipper and more
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Women Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times after emphatic India Lee win
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...