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Aussies dominate triathlon

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CHERNG TALAY: Australians swept the top three places in the 12th annual Thai Airways International Laguna Phuket Triathlon yesterday.

Winner Greg Bennett overtook compatriot and two-time winner Craig Alexander at the 6-kilometer marker on the run course and never looked back, winning in 2:31:40 and earning US$3,000 (120,000 baht) in prize money.

Less than a minute behind, Alexander claimed second place with a total time of 2:32:37, and Richie Cunningham (2:35:58) came third, as he did in 2004, completing the Aussie sweep.

In the women’s pro division, Samantha McGlone of Canada finished strongly to win in a total time of 2:44:16. Three minutes later, Greg Bennett greeted his American wife Laura as she crossed the finish line to take second place ahead of Australian Belinda Granger.

It was an outstanding weekend for the Bennetts, who were also celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

A record-breaking field of 700 athletes competed in the triathlon, which also included an unprecedented 42 three-person relay teams. The grueling race, which started at 8 am at Sheraton Grande Laguna, consisted of a 1.8-km swim followed by a 55-km bike ride and a 12-km run to the finish.

The first amateur finisher was Craig Johns from New Zealand, with a total time of 2:52:15. The fastest Thai finisher was Bunlubsak Doungdun with a very respectable time of 2:55:24.

The first Thai female to finish was the remarkable 14-year-old athlete Phuttrajit Sangkhaphan, this year’s youngest participant, in a time of 3:35:40.

Results

Men’s Pro Division: 1. Greg Bennett (Australia) 2:31:40; 2. Craig Alexander (Aus) 2:32:37; 3. Richie Cunningham (Aus) 2:35:58; 4. Massimo Cigana (Italy) 2:39:06; 5. Alejandro Santamaria (Spain) 2:41:12.

Women’s Pro Division: 1. Samantha McGlone (Canada) 2:44:16; 2. Laura Bennett (USA) 2:47:26; 3. Belinda Granger (Aus) 2:52:57; 4. Carol Montgomery (Can) 2:53:49; 5. Jocelyn Pollock (UK) 2:54:33.

Thai Men’s Division: 1. Bunluesak Doungdun (Chon Buri) 2:55:24; 2. Saman Gunan (Chon Buri) 3:02:09; 3. Chadarak Chaikamjorn (Nakhon Sri Thammarat) 3:02:54; 4. Wuttipat Bunjang (Chon Buri) 3:12:32; 5. Kiattisak Premarnant (Pathum Thani) 3:19:53.

Thai Women’s Division: 1. Phuttrajit Sankhaphan (Suphan Buri) 3:35:40; 2. Nuansiree Romphet (Suphan Buri) 3:35:38; 3. Nampetch Porntharukchan (Bangkok) 4:10:30; 4. Laddawan Arpapradit (Bangkok) 4:15:29; 5. Supada Boonsupa (Bangkok) 4:17:37.

Open Category Relay: 1. Hash House Harriers 3:01:13; 2. Banyan Tree Phuket 3:03:03; 3. Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket 3:12:44.

Masters Category Relay: 1. Three Amigos (Hong Kong) 2:58:35; 2. The Three Coconuts (Thailand) 3:12:44; 3. Just Kidding (Thailand) 3:12:54.

Clydesdales (men over 200 lbs): 1. Bevan Colless (Aus) 3:26:57; 2. John Zanetos (USA) 3:29:00; 3. Karl Siegling (Aus) 3:31:16; 4. Eric Saylors (USA) 3:33:10; 5. Mike Bolsover (UK) 3:41:26.

Complete results can be seen here.

 

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