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Triathlon champ’s return to form at Challenge Laguna Phuket



PHUKET: A field of over 600 individual pro and age group athletes representing 41 nationalities, crowded Laguna Phuket this weekend to participate in the 2015 Challenge Laguna Phuket triathlon.

Switzerland’s Ruedi Wild successfully defended his 2014 Challenge Laguna Phuket title in 3:54:45 (swim 21:29, bike 2:12:17, run 1:18:21), breaking his own record of 4:02:43, despite being out of action for the past few months due to injury.

Belgium’s Bart Aernouts, making his Challenge Laguna Phuket debut, finished in second just under a minute behind Mr Wild, with a time of 3:55:41, followed by Italy’s Alberto Casadei. who came in at 3:58:22.

In the women’s field, Swiss pro Simone Braendli took home the win, finishing in 4:22:42 (swim 23:37, bike 2:33:50, run 1:22:22).

Following Ms Braendli in second and third were Jodie Swallow of Great Britain with a time of 4:23:25 and Laguna Phuket Triathlon triple winner Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic with a 4:30:50 finishing time.

“It was a tough competition today. We were racing in such a strong field of pros,” said Mr Wild after the race. “I am very happy coming back here again and defending my title at my favorite race of the season. I want to thank all the people who support me throughout the year.”

Meanwhile, Ms Braendli overcame a huge challenge while on the course.

“On the run course, I followed Jodie Swallow by seven minutes and it was not easy to catch up. I never thought I can win here,” she said. “But I believe that pain is temporary, glory is forever, so I just sprinted until the end.”


YouTube video
This weekend’s Challenge race completed the week-long tri-fest, which began with the Laguna Phuket Triathlon on November 22. Video: PGTV

1. Ruedi Wild (SUI) 03:54:45.0
2. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 03:55:41.0
3. Alberto Casadei (ITA) 03:58:22.0
4. Tim O Donnell (USA) 04:00:08.0
5. James Cunnama (ZAF) 04:02:14.0

1. Simone Braendli (SUI) 04:22:42.0
2. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 04:23:25.0
3. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 04:30:50.0
4. Beth Gerdes (USA) 04:39:43.0
5. Katy Duffield (AUS) 04:40:15.0

— Phuket Gazette


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