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Wild marks Laguna Phuket debut with title win

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Wild marks Laguna Phuket debut with title win | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Swiss Olympian Ruedi Wild produced a clockwork performance in his debut at today’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon to snatch the title from a top-class field of fellow pros in just under two and a half hours. He become his country’s first-ever winner of the iconic endurance event, now in its 19th year.

In the women’s field it was another Olympian, Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic, who triumphed with her third Laguna Phuket title to bring heartbreak for Australian Belinda Granger, the fellow two-time Champion also vying for Triple Crown in her 10th appearance at the event.

A field of almost 700 individual pro and age group athletes representing more than 40 nationalities started the race at dawn, 6.30am, on the beach at Phuket with a 1.8km swim, followed by a 55km bike ride and a 12km run. There were also 61 relay teams taking part amid the event’s renowned festival atmosphere.

Wild was among a chasing pack behind runaway leader, American Ironman bike specialist Chris Lieto, who was a minute and half ahead out of T2 into the run after a storming bike leg of 1:20:54.

But Lieto, whose season has been affected by Achilles problems, faded as the temperature rose in the morning sun, and he was soon overhauled by the hard-running Wild and other members of the pack.

“Running is my strength and I knew that if I was less than two minutes behind Chris at the start of the run I could catch up and overtake him,” said Wild, a 12-time Swiss Champion who spent 10 days training in Phuket before the race to get acclimatized to the tropical heat.

“I’m so happy to have won today. I’ve heard so much about this fabulous race and it’s been on my list to do for a while. This is my first time in Thailand and it’s been a fantastic experience – I hope to come back to defend my title next year,” he said.

Wild finished in 2:29:22, with a swim of 23:06; bike of 1:22:29; and run of 41:22, and was followed home in second place by Germany’s Tim Meyer in 2:29:3, with Alberto Cassadei of Italy third in 2:31:42.

But it was a disappointing day for another Italian, defending Champion and three-time title holder Massimo Cigana, who could only manage fourth place in 2:33:41.

Lieto finished seventh in 2:40:29 and another top pro, legendary two-time Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack of Australia – making his much-vaunted “Race of Legends” debut – was also off the podium positions at eighth place in 2:45:44.

However, Lieto, McCormack and Cigana will have a chance for revenge next weekend when they race the Ironman 70.3 Laguna Phuket against Wild and some 150 other athletes who raced today and will stay on this week for Laguna Phuket’s “Tri-Fest” leading up to the Ironman 70.3

Vodickova, who led the women’s field from start to finish and crossed the line more than seven minutes ahead of second-placed Granger, was even able to afford herself the luxury of easing back on the run – with one eye on next weekend’s Ironman 70.3, which she will contest again with Granger and an elite field including current double Ironman and Ironman 70.3 World Champion Leanda Cave.

She finished first in 2:50:41 with a swim of 24:16; bike of 1:34:11; and run of 49:43. Granger followed her home in 2:57:14, and Edith Niederfringer of Italy was the third woman in 2:58:49.

“I love this race and I’m very happy to have won it for the third time,” said Vodickova.

“I went very hard from the start and was able to stretch my lead and relax a bit on the run towards the end. Next weekend will be a really hard race, but to win today is a great confidence booster,” she said.

Top amateur male finisher was Ben Greenfield of the USA who took ninth position with 2:47:02 and the top amateur female was Nickey Barnard of South Africa who finished in 3:10:44 at 67th overall to take the fourth women’s place.

Top Thai male finisher was Jaray Jearanai who finished 17th in 2:52.15; and topThai female was Nampetch Porntharukcharoen at 280th overall in3:40:10.

The Relay section was won by Tabitubbies of the UK in 2:49:48, with Outrigger Laguna Phuket second in 2:59:25 and another Thai team, A.J. Bruckner, third in 3:12:05.

Results:

Men

  • Ruedi Wild (SUI) 2:29:22
  • Tim Meyer (GER) 2:29:31
  • Alberto Cassadei (ITA) 2:31:42
  • Massimo Cigana (ITA) 2:33:41
  • Simon Agoston (AUT) 2:37:08

Women

  • Radka Vodickova (CZE) 2:50:41
  • Belinda Granger (AUS) 2:57:14
  • Edith Niederfringer (ITA) 2:58:49
  • Nickey Barnard (RSA) 3:10:44
  • Sarah Wheeler (GBR) 3:13:52

The Laguna Phuket Triathlon is proudly sponsored by the Phuket Gazette, PGTV and the nationally televised Phuket Today show on UBC/True Visions. Phuket Today, co-produced by PGTV and MCOT World, provided coverage of this event. The half-hour show runs six times a week, starting every Sunday at 7:10pm

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Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s 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. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

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.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed 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”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 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. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

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.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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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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Thailand

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

The Thaiger & The Nation

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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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