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Raelert and Rollison reign supreme at Laguna Phuket Ironman

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Raelert and Rollison reign supreme at Laguna Phuket Ironman | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Michael Raelert’s dazzling performance and character shone through at a wet and overcast Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship for the German to take the 2011 title at Laguna Phuket and in the process demolished the course record.

When most consider a cautious approach to navigating Phuket during inclement conditions, the two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion powered through the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run courses to rip a massive eight minutes off the old record and finish five minutes ahead of the Australian assault from Richie Cunningham and Paul Matthews.

Unable to defend his Ironman World championship title at Las Vegas in September due to injury, Raelert was determined to end his season successfully. His determination paid dividends crossing the line in a record time of 03:51:36 to claim his first Phuket Ironman 70.3 triathlon title and a prize purse of US$12,000.

An ecstatic Raelert expressed delight at winning Phuket’s challenging Ironman 70.3.

“After the setbacks of this season it’s great to end on a high note with a good win and I’m sure this will be a springboard for my next season. I’m already looking forward to returning next year to defend my title,” said Raelert

Raelert won with a swim time of 00:23:24; bike of 02:14:17 and run of 01:11:15. Cunningham, Laguna Phuket Triathlon champion in 2008, was runner-up on 03:57:16 with a swim time of 00:23:55, bike of 02:14:07 and run of 01:16:44; and Matthews finished on 03:58:24 with a swim time of 00:23:39, bike of 02:14:14 and run of 01:18:02.

One of the pre-race favorites and Ironman bike specialist, Chris Lieto, was relegated to the role of spectator after a nasty bike crash forced the American to retire with an elbow injury just 20km into the 90km ride.

Melissa Rollison of Australia emphasized her dominance in the Ironman Women’s Pro category with a comfortable victory in 04:17:01. The reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion and last year’s Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship runner-up finished with a remarkable 13 minute lead over Switzerland’s Natascha Badmann who crossed the line on 04:30:42.

Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2011 women’s champion Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic, suffered a knee injury in a bike accident after last weekend’s win, but a gutsy run in her first-ever Ironman 70.3 saw her surge through the field to finish third on 04:34:50, pushing UK star Emma-Kate Lidbury into fourth.

Rollison won with a swim time of 00:27:32; bike of 02:36:29 and run of 01:19:44; Badmann was runner-up with a swim time of 00:30:00; bike of 02:26:01 and run of 01:30:57; and Vodickova finished with a swim time of 00:26:13, bike of 02:39:04 and run of 01:26:26.

Massimo Cigana, Laguna Phuket Triathlon triple champion and crowd favorite said he would be satisfied with a top ten finish in the Ironman event after his victory last weekend. Finishing sixth in a time of 04:01:54, the Italian can be proud of his achievements over the past seven days.

It was a good day for Australia, with five Australians among the top eight men’s prize positions and three in the women’s top eight, including winner Melissa Rollison.

Top Thai male finisher was the country’s fast-rising triathlete star Jaray Jearanai of Phuket, in a personal best of 04:38:38 on his home course, with a swim time of 00:32:57, bike of 02:30:36 and run of 01:31:13. Top Thai female was Nampetch Porntharukcharoen in 06:22:28, with a swim time of 00:45:09, bike of 03:18:24 and run of 02:09:55.

The day was also a triumph for the oldest competitor, 79 years-old Hiromu Inada of Japan, who finished in 06:42:01 with a swim time of 00:45:41, bike of 03:30:30 and run of 02:15:26.

The Laguna Phuket 2011 Ironman 70.3 field comprised 34 male and female international pro athletes and 1,085 age groupers representing 58 countries. Athletes competed for a total US$75,000 pro purse, championship points, as well as prestigious age group slots awarded for the 2012 Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Championships.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV are sponsors of the Laguna Phuket Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship.

— Neil Quail

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Environment

Phuket’s water bosses claim there will be enough water

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s water bosses claim there will be enough water | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bang Neow Dam in Thalang, just a few muddy ponds

Well into the second half of the Phuket wet season and the three main dams are well below capacity, Bang Wad Dam just over 13% capacity and the Bang Neow Dam in Thalang district around 5%, mostly unusable muddy ponds. The newer Khlong Katha in Chalong is at a much higher level, about 30% of capacity.

But this time of the year the three dams need to be well on their way to full capacity if the island is to get through the high tourists season and dry season without a repeat of last year’s muddle where provincial obfuscation and confusion put the health of thousands of residents at risk by cutting off their water supply and water trucks became more populous than passenger vans.

The lack of water also co-incides with increased development and more tourists arriving each year.

Now the Director of the Phuket Provincial Irrigation Office, Somsawat Chaisinsod, is calling for province administrators and the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority to begin water saving campaigns as the annual heavy rains in October may not arrive or be less frequent. The suggestion of water ‘restrictions’ was not mentioned in the meeting.

At a meeting attended by Phuket’s Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, Mr. Somsawat claimed that the island’s annual rainfall, for the first seven months of 2019, has only been 10% less than average.

But the dams are a LOT more than 10% lower in capacity. In the case of the Bang Neow Dam in Srisoontorn, it’s virtually empty.

A representative from the PWA said that the Authority is currently buying 45,000 cubic metres of water per day from undisclosed “private sources” to top up the island’s potable water needs.

“The PWA is in the process of securing water supply from a new supplier to improve the water supply and reduce the volume of water drawn from the dams.”

Meanwhile Prapan Kanprasang, chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in Phuket, told The Phuket News he “believes Phuket has enough water to the island through the next dry season, after the annual rains cease early November”.

“We have enough water to use.”

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Crime

Norwegian out on bail following death of British man at Centara Grand Resort in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Norwegian out on bail following death of British man at Centara Grand Resort in Phuket | The Thaiger

SCREENSHOT: bbc.com

The bbc.com are reporting that a British man died at the Centara Grand Hotel in Phuket in a fight after telling another guest to “keep the noise down” as his wife and son tried to sleep, according to the man’s family.

The details in the BBC report conflict with earlier local reports out of Phuket.

The BBC report says that 34 year old Amitpal Singh Bajaj from the UK complained about noise from the next room at the five-star Centara Grand Hotel on Karon beachfront in Phuket.

The man’s family claims that another man forced his way into their room via the balcony early on Wednesday, August 21. The family claims that the man strangled Mr Bajaj.

In a statement Amitpal’s 34 year old wife Bandhna Kaur Bajaj described to police how the attacker “barged” into their room naked and attacked her husband.

“My husband sacrificed his life to save my son’s life and mine. He will always be our hero.”

“My husband tried to block the man and move me and my son away. As the man was kicking, punching and just, beating him up, my husband told me to please leave and save our son,” according to the BBC report.

The rendering of the report from the BBC is quite different from Phuket’s local news reports.

In Phuket reports it stated that a fight started at 4am, when the British man Amitpal Singh Bajaj confronted Norwegian Roger Bullman over the amount of noise coming from his room.

“Mr Bullman was drunk, and security had already visited his room twice to ask him to keep the noise down. When Mr Bajaj confronted him, he stabbed Mr Bullman in the shoulder with a steak knife.

Mr Bullman, trained in martial arts, then got the British man in a choke hold and maintained his grip on him. He says he did not mean to kill him, and did not think he had.”

The BBC report says that Mrs Bajaj grabbed the couple’s 2 year old son and fled the hotel room to look for help. She says she ran down a staircase and hid under a tree with her son in her arms while calling the reception from her mobile to tell them what had happened.

“I asked the reception to please make sure someone attends to my husband… “please give him some medical help, I’m very scared, I’ve escaped”, according to the BBC report.

“I could still hear the attacker screaming. I didn’t want to be attacked.”

Mr Amitpal was taken to Patong Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that a Norwegian citizen has been arrested in Thailand and is being provided consular assistance.

According to Phuket News, Karon police said that “Mr Bullman had been released on bail posted at the court, but was unable to confirm how much bail was posted at. Reports in the Norwegian media said that bail was posted at about 200,000 baht.”

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Phuket

Huawei technology working with the ‘smart city’ project in Phuket

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Huawei technology working with the ‘smart city’ project in Phuket | The Thaiger

Huawei Technologies impressed participants at this week’s ASEAN Smart Cities Network Conference & Exhibition in Bangkok with its white paper on smart city development in Phuket.

The paper aims to drive Thailand 4.0 initiatives to pave the way for major digital and infrastructure development in Phuket, one of Thailand’s pilot smart cities, and to provide insights and guidance on an integrated framework needed for a successful and sustainable urban transformation.

Inspired by Thailand 4.0 economic development program launched in 2016, the paper focuses on a practical ideas that helps empower Phuket communities for digital future.

Huawei conducted an assessment and case studies on the services and utilities required for a fully-developed smart city. The resulting white provides comprehensive insights into action plans to transform Phuket into a smart city by 2020.

The services include smart energy and utilities, smart mobility, smart environment, smart living and smart economy while the enablers are smart governance, smart infrastructure and smart people.

In his opening address, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa)’s president Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanpatcharin noted that thanks to the support from the National Smart City Committee and organizations from both public and private sectors, the smart city developments have already begun in 6 prioritized cities: Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and 3 EEC provinces.

“As one of our pilot cities, Phuket needs a clear development plan and a sustainable management model in order to fully transform into a smart city in 2020, this white paper will surely help facilitate smart city project for Phuket and other smart city candidates as well.”

Chanchai Tanatkatrakul, Principal, Roland Berger Thailand added: “We looked at global best practices and analysed local issues and requirements to develop this Smart City Framework for Phuket. Talking to various stakeholders helped us tailor our recommendations that can address the needs of Phuket and its people very well:”

Deng Feng, Managing Director of Huawei Thailand agreed, saying: “At Huawei, we promote industry development at all levels. As Thailand embarks on the journey to become one of the first countries in the region to develop a smart city scheme, we will provide practical recommendations and solutions to ensure a smooth and complete city development for Phuket and the rest of Thailand.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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