CHERNG TALAY: Australians dominated the Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2004 this morning, taking the top three places in the men’s professional competition, and winning first place in the women’s professional category.
2002 winner Craig Alexander, from Sydney, crossed the finish line first, completing the course in 2 hours 33 minutes 7 seconds. Hot on his heels was last year’s winner Simon “Tommo” Thompson, from Canberra, who crossed the line just 53 seconds later.
Fellow Aussie Richard Cunningham came third, completing the triathlon in 2:36.50.
Speaking with the Gazette after completing his third Laguna triathlon, Alexander said, “Two years ago I won by four to five minutes. I had a large lead going into the run, so I could afford to take it easy. I think this one was definitely harder.
“What can I say? That was hard work. That was definitely a very hard-fought victory.”
Australian Nicole Hackett, in her first Laguna triathlon, won the women’s professional category, completing the course in 2:53.06. Hackett already has an outstanding athletic record; she was a member of the Australian Sydney 2000 Olympics squad, 2000 Women’s World Champion and has been ITU World Champion three times.
2002 and 2003 women’s professional champion Carol Montgomery, from Canada, came second in 2:54.53, followed by American Barb Linguist who finished in 2:57.46.
The first Thai across the finish line was Chadarak Chaigamjorn, who completed the course in 3:09.36 to place 30th.
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