High class athletic stadium for beautiful island triathlon (clip)
More than 1,800 athletes from 44 countries will on Sunday morning kick off the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, which is celebrating its 24th anniversary.
The event, recently named the Best Amateur Sports Event of the Year in Thailand, consists of a unique race distance of a 1.8 km swim, 50 km bike ride and 12 km run through the island’s scenic backdrop.
Two-time defending champion Michael Raelert of Germany, last year’s runner-up Antony “The Tiger” Costes of France, reigning women’s champion Amelia Rose Watkinson of New Zealand and rising star Imogen Simmonds from Great Britain are all in action this year.
“I need to be the fastest in all three disciplines,” said 37-year-old Raelert from Rostock, of his hat-trick chances. “My best thing is my running. If I get off the bike in a good position and outrun the other guys, I hope I can make it again this year.”
However, he admits he faces a strong challenge from Costes who only narrowly lost to him 12 months ago. “Anthony is one of the strongest cyclists. If he gets a big lead after the ride, it will be hard to catch up with him. He’s one of the guys I have to keep my eye on,” added Raelert, the winner of the Bangsaen, Mueritz and Eberl Chiemsee triathlons this year. Kiwi Watkinson is also brimming with confidence after winning three titles in 2017: the Ironman in Bintan, Indonesia, the Ironman in Cebu, Philippines and the triathlon in Kanchanaburi.
“I’ve been in good form. I’m quite confident but you cannot underestimate others. There are always dark horses,” she said. A charity fun run introduced as part of the event for the first time yesterday afternoon raised up to 1 million Baht which will go to Artiwara “Toon”s Kongmalai charity run for 11 hospitals in Thailand. Asia Nation