CHERNG TALAY: Simon Thompson from Canberra, Australia, has won this year’s Laguna Phuket Traithlon in 2 hours, 35 minutes and 15 seconds. It was the 25-year-old Australian’s first appearance in the event, though he already has a significant international profile, having won the French Grand Prix and the ITU Hokkaido in Japan in 2001 and the ITU Luxembourg last year. Second was Stuart Hayes of the UK, two minutes and 10 seconds behind, while Australian Chris Hayes came third with a time of 2:42:44. Last year’s men’s winner, Craig Alexander, retired from the event after suffering a flat tire during the bicycle segment of the triathlon. The first woman across the finish line was last year’s winner, Carol Montgomery of Canada, in a time of 2:53:14, just under seven minutes ahead of Belinda Granger of Australia. Rebekah Keat, also of Australia, was third in a time of 3:01:07. Both Thompson and Montgomery finished the triathlon a couple of minutes slower than the best times last year. The first team to complete the course was the Phuket Hash House Harriers, who completed the event in 2:59:37. The first Thai to finish was Suppachai Unasing, 29, from Phuket, followed by another Phuket native, Narongsak Charuphan. The youngest runner in the event was also a Phuket native, 12-year-old schoolboy Phatrajit Sangkhaphan, while the oldest was 65-year-old Wayne Mehl of the US.
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