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German and Czech shine at Laguna Phuket Triathlon

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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German and Czech shine at Laguna Phuket Triathlon | The Thaiger

LAGUNA, PHUKET: 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal winner Jan Frodeno took first place in a new course record and US$ 3,500 in prize money at this year’s exciting Laguna Phuket Triathlon.

The South Africa-based superstar posted an overall finish time of 02:24:56, besting the previous record set by Richie Cunningham (AUS) in 2008 by over three minutes.

Frodeno was followed home some 12 minutes later by professional athlete Matthieu O’Halloran (CAN) in second place with a time of 02:36:58. Balazs Csoke (HUN) completed the top three, finishing in 02:38:18.

Frodeno said after the race: “The bike section was a challenge due to my inexperience of the course and knowing how to pace this particular race…I am amazed at the fantastic organization and the welcoming people, I am so happy to finally be here, I have been trying to get to the race for the last three years – the event has got a great festival atmosphere.”

Radka Vodickova (CZE) won the 2009 Pro Women’s championship in a time of 02:46:15. She was pushed all the way by defending champ and thrice Ironman Champion Belinda Granger (AUS), who finished second in a time of 02:49:51. Fellow Australian Rachael Paxton took the third podium place with an overall time of 02:52:16.

Radka Vodickova completed the 1.8km swim in 0:25:02, followed by Belinda Granger just 14 seconds behind. Vodickova was also the first woman off the bike course, finishing in 01:30:52, followed by Granger, who completed the bike course in 01:30:36, the fastest time by a woman.

Some 1,000 athletes crossed the start line to compete in sizzling conditions at Laguna Phuket Triathlon on December 6.

The race began at the beachfront of the Laguna Beach Resort with the first wave starting at 7am with hundreds of triathletes vying for an early lead in the first leg of the Triathlon.

The 1.8k swim crossed two bodies of water, through the Andaman Sea followed by a beachside lagoon. First out of the water was Jan Frodeno with a swim time of 00:21:54, followed by Matthieu O’ Halloran 45 seconds behind in 00:22:39.

First male to complete the 55k bike course through Phuket’s tropical countryside was Jan Frodeno in an impressive 01:20:15, ahead of Matthieu O’ Halloran who came in second in 01:26:37, and defending champion Richie Cunningham in third.

The champion of the Team Relay race was Triathlon Travel winning in 02:46:10. Second place went to Donald Legget Racing in 003:00:37 followed by the Sheraton On B team finishing in 03:11:10.

The fastest Thai male finisher was Chadarak Chaikamjorn in 03:01:33, while the first Thai woman to finish was Natcha Pianprasobsuk who completed the race in 03:23:52.

Weather conditions for the 16th Laguna Phuket Triathlon were hot, with temperatures reaching well above 30 degrees Celsius during the bike and run segments.

The event saw an estimated 1,000 athletes officially start the race in an attempt to conquer the 1.8km swim, 55km bike and 12km run in and around Laguna Phuket.

Competitors represented more than 40 countries and ranged in age from 18 to over 70 years old.

For complete race day coverage, results and more images from the 2009 Laguna Phuket Triathlon please visit: www.lagunaphukettriathlon.com.

The next Laguna Phuket Triathlon is scheduled to take place on November 28, 2010: Start training now.

— Laguna Phuket


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Phuket

Mai Khao’s ‘West Sands’ CEO being quizzed by police following last week’s death on Thepkasattri Road

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Mai Khao’s ‘West Sands’ CEO being quizzed by police following last week’s death on Thepkasattri Road | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Facebook.com – Paul John Mercer

The British CEO of a luxury hotel along Mai Khao Beach in Phuket, is going to be quizzed by police in Phuket after running over and killing a roadside scavenger in his luxury Mercedes last week.

Original report about the Wednesday morning incident HERE.

The British expat is being investigated by Thai police after his Mercedes-Benz ploughed into the rubbish collector, killing the man instantly and scattering his body over the road.

Paul John Mercer, CEO of CCD Thailand, an international developer of luxury hotels, allegedly struck the unidentified man as he was pushing his rubbish cart along Thepkasattri Road in Phuket early Wednesday morning. His body was dragged 40 metres along the road, according to the police report. At this stage Police have not been able to identify the deceased man.

Police and rescue workers found the man’s body scattered over the road. The black Mercedes sustained significant damage from the crash on its right side front and windscreen.

Mail Online reports the the 33 year old driver, from Salford near Manchester, was immediately sent to a nearby hospital for injuries to his eyes caused by the impact to the windscreen.

Police had been barred from seeing or questioning Mr Mercer until his condition improved. Police requested tests for the man’s blood alcohol level.

If found guilty of driving over the alcohol limit, Mr Mercer could be charged with reckless driving causing death, and would be sent to a local court for trial. A guilty verdict could send him to a Thai prison along with a hefty fine. Plus, as normal in Thai culture, he would be required to pay compensation to the deceased man’s family.

But Police Captain Worawut Sensop, deputy investigation chief at Thalang police station, told MailOnline “We have not been contacted by a family member or a relative to claim the body.”

“If no relative comes forward to claim relationship with the victim, Mr Mercer could get away with not having to pay any compensation.”

Mr Mercer went into business with former Tesco CEO, Sir Terry Leahy, to buy the 48 acre stretch of land along Mai Khao Beach, Phuket, with 426 rooms, now known as Grand West Sands.

Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger Mai Khao's 'West Sands' CEO being quizzed by police following last week's death on Thepkasattri Road | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Mail Online

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Phuket

Man kills himself outside his home in Thalang

The Thaiger

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Man kills himself outside his home in Thalang | The Thaiger

A Thai man has shot himself at a house in Thalang today.

When Police and rescue workers arrived at the Suppamas housing estate in Paklok about noon, they discovered the body of 66 year old Somnueak Chanapan, a former staff member of the Khao Phra Thaew Non Hunting Area, on a chair in front of the house. Bullet wounds were found on both his right and left temple.

A .38 handgun was found next to his body. A cartridge was found under the chair. His body was taken to Thalang Hospital.

Mr Somnueak’s wife told police that Mr Somnueak was  a former staff member of Khao Phra Thaew Non Hunting Area in Thalang. She said that he had some personal health issues but he had been given good care from his family.

His wife and his son were inside the house at the time of the incident. They thought that Mr Somnueak was cleaning the gun. After she heard the shot she ran into the room and found that he was dead.

At this state police believe that Mr Somnueak was stressed over his personal health problems but are continuing their investigations.

Man kills himself outside his home in Thalang | News by The Thaiger

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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Phang Nga

Tour operators boycott visits to Similan and Surin islands to protest new restrictions

The Thaiger

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Tour operators boycott visits to Similan and Surin islands to protest new restrictions | The Thaiger

The tour operators have had enough of the winding back of tour boat operations and are now resorting to boycotting and ‘disrupting’ the tours in order to get their protests heard.

About 50 tour operators in Phuket and Phang nga say they’re suspending boat trips to Similan-Surin islands in the Andaman sea (off the coast of Phang-Nga) today and tomorrow to protest against the decision of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation to limit the number of visitors to the islands to 3,850 a day. The number also includes 525 scuba divers.

Thai PBS reports that the limitation of visitors comes into force today after the two main islands re-opened to tourists after several months of closure during the monsoon season.

Besides the limitation of visitors, overnight stay-overs are not permitted.

Tour operators met yesterday in Ban Tap Lamu in Thai Muang district of Phang nga to discuss the new restrictions which they say they oppose.

They say their objections are because the restrictions would affect their business and that they’ve already accepted advance bookings to tour the islands before the department issued its new restrictions.

They say they will take their tourists to other tourist attractions Monday and Tuesday this week while awaiting response from the department.

Tour operators have been notified of the reopening of the two islands for visitors and the restrictions and to get themselves prepared with their vessels being properly checked to ensure their sea worthiness and equipped with enough life vests for their passengers.

The PM’s Office Minister Kobsak Putrakul, who was in Phang nga over the weekend, received the tour operators’ complaint and promised to bring it to the attention of the department chief.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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