Connect with us


Raelert and Rollison reign supreme at Laguna Phuket Ironman

Legacy Phuket Gazette



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


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 mins ago

Multiple Bangkok hospitals stop Covid testing, citing fear of insufficient beds

Pattaya40 mins ago

Chon Buri governor says Pattaya bars will stay closed for now, Covid cases remain high

Crime1 hour ago

15 year old stabbed at private school

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Thailand1 hour ago

UPDATE: Police identify alleged gunman who opened fire at field hospital, killing a patient

Thailand2 hours ago

PM orders investigation into pricey street lamps

Best of3 hours ago

Top 5 Thai Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket3 hours ago

Phuket governor outlines plans to track and trace foreign arrivals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: Latest wave exceeds 200,000 cases

Thailand3 hours ago

Guitarist from “Playground” dies in road incident

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

First delivery of Sinopharm vaccines approved for distribution

Thailand3 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Thai Immigration – Are you legal? Latest Covid and Phuket sandbox

Phuket4 hours ago

Flight traffic to Phuket expected to increase by 6% next month

Tourism4 hours ago

Hotel platform predicts increasing demand for holidays in Thailand

Bangkok5 hours ago

Covid-19 task force pushes back on Bangkok lockdown proposal

Northern Thailand13 hours ago

Meteor causes explosion, green glow above Northern Thailand

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8