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Triathlon: Laguna to take on new Challenge

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Triathlon: Laguna to take on new Challenge | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Challenge Family recently announced a partnership with Asia’s longest running triathlon, Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT), and in doing so, revealed its commitment to developing a series of half and full distance events throughout the region.

LPT has been attracting the the sport’s legends and age groupers alike to the stunning tropical island for two decades.

In 2013 it will celebrate its 20th anniversary with the launch of the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest, to be held from November 24 to December 1. This week-long celebration of sport will incorporate the iconic Laguna Phuket Triathlon and half-distance Challenge Laguna Phuket with a host of sporting and social activities in between.

Debbie Dionysius, assistant vice president of destination marketing, Laguna Phuket, said she was delighted that Phuket will host the first Challenge Family triathlon in Asia.

“We feel it’s fitting that our popular and iconic race should be the debut Asian Challenge event, and we’re confident in the potential of our Challenge partnership to further expand its global popularity among professional athletes and age groupers alike,” she said.

“The launch of the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest represents an exciting new chapter for both our long-established destination distance race and our half iron distance triathlon, one that is sure to ignite the passion of our triathletes who come here to race from all over the world.

“We look forward with enthusiasm to Challenge Laguna Phuket 2013 and to being the launch pad for a new era of triathlon in Asia.”

Two-time world champion, Chris McCormack, who was in Phuket last December to compete at LPT and launch the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest, said that the synergy between Challenge and Laguna Phuket Triathlon was clear. “Challenge Roth is the oldest race in Europe, Challenge Penticton the oldest in North America and now we have Challenge Laguna Phuket, the oldest race in Asia – that speaks volumes to me about the importance Challenge Family places on the legacy of our sport,” he said.

“This approach echoes exactly how I feel. Our legacy is the foundation of this sport and Challenge is the organization that has proven time and again that they respect the sport and its athletes. The partnerships we are building will ensure the sport retains its soul and provide an exciting future.”

A key element of the Challenge Family’s expansion into Asia is the appointment of Murphy Reinschreiber to the Challenge Family team. With over 20 years of experience delivering triathlons in Asia, Reinschreiber is tasked with overseeing the development of Challenge Family races within the region.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with Laguna Phuket for every step of its triathlon journey, including its move to Challenge,” he said. “The values that have endeared the Laguna Phuket races and Challenge Roth to their participants over the years will be apparent at all Challenge races in Asia. The lesson I’ve learned working in Asia is that triathletes expect high quality event experiences that extend beyond the start and finish lines. Challenge races will meet these expectations – our DNA from Roth and Phuket assures it.”

Challenge Family CEO, Felix Walchsh๖fer, said expansion into Asia was the next logical step for the organization and he was delighted to partner with the team at Laguna Phuket Triathlon who share Challenge’s athletes’ experience first philosophy.

“Now Challenge has established itself as the top long-distance race series in Europe, Asia is a top priority. We expect to develop a full series of half and full distance events in Asia over the next few years. We think that our brand of triathlon is right for Asia as we have a long-term perspective that allows us to contribute to the development of the sport in our host countries and engage our local communities. We’re very much looking forward to starting this journey with Laguna Phuket Triathlon.”

The Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons currently features 13 races throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Challenge Family races are known for their excellent athlete race experience and commitment to the communities in which they take place.

For further information on Challenge Laguna Phuket visit For further information on Challenge Family visit or or follow on Twitter @Challenge_Family

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


Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor



Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of Chinese tourists to arrive under the new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

Natthapon Nakpanich, from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He points out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”.

Natthapon says there will be a limit of 300 on the number of foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14-day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14-day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

It’s expected around 5,000 rooms will be needed to accommodate tourists arriving under the SETV scheme, once they’ve finished their quarantine period.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth



Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation



Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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