Photos: PTO

By Kent Gray/
Kyle Smith has been rewarded, again, for his “career best” triumph at Challenge Wanaka.

The wire-to-wire win at the picturesque Glendhu Bay half has seen the Taupo 25-year-old named PTO Athlete of the Month for February with India Lee’s performance at T100 Miami earning the breakthrough Brit the gong for March.

RELATED: Smith savours ‘once in a blue moon’ romp to second Challenge Wanaka title

Smith’s victory, by more than five minutes from Cantabrian Mike Phillips, saw him hold off Ironman 70.3 Tasmania victor Chelsea Sodaro for the February honour. Sodaro, who has extended her training stint Down Under with North Shore-based coach Dr. Dan Plews, must also have been in contention for March after her record-breaking Ironman NZ effort in Taupo.

A panel of triathlon media that includes Global Triathlon Network (GTN), Triathlete, Triathlon Magazine & vote on their 1,2,3 from a four-athlete shortlist – awarding three points for No.1, two points for No.2 and one point for No.3 – with triathlon fans also voting via the T100 social handles. Smith polled 11 points, Sodaro 10, Thompson 5 and Visser 4.

Smith, who earned a wildcard into T100 Singapore on April 13 (women) and 14 (men) on the back of Wanaka, is understandably delighted with how his season is progressing.

“It all came together in Wanaka, to deliver a career best performance,” Smith told PTO. “I was so happy to be able to do this on one of the most beautiful and brutal race courses I’ve ever raced on.  It’s been a great summer of training here in New Zealand and I can’t wait to take this newfound form back overseas for the rest of 2024, starting in Singapore.”
Speaking in his post-race debrief video, Smith finished with a message to his supporters: “I feel like I’ve got the wind in my sails now so come along for the ride.” will provide full coverage from T100 where contracted athlete Amelia Watkinson will make her series bow alongside Auckland wildcard Rebecca Clarke.

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