Overcoming tough conditions, New Zealand triathletes Braden Currie and Teresa Adam have stamped their authority on the Ironman Asia-Pacific championships.
They successfully defended their titles on Sunday in Cairns, with Currie winning the men’s race by a whopping 19 minutes.
Adam also went back-to-back as Australian star Sarah Crowley held off Finn Kaisa Sali by just 14 seconds to take second place.
“When you get to race like that, it’s a great feeling. I’m just proud,” Wanaka-based Currie said at the finish line interview.
He managed to achieve something that is increasingly elusive in Ironman racing – controlling the field with a 1-1-1 in the three disciplines.
“It’s pretty hard to believe. I wanted to tick my box for Kona here and I thought what’s the easiest way to make sure that happens and that was to win! If I wanted to be in with a good chance for that I needed to send it from start to finish. I’m just stoked to see the progression and where I’m at now.”
American Sarah True was challenging Adam and Crowley off the bike before fading during the marathon run.
The two-time Olympian later reported on Twitter that she passed out, but thanked the race medical staff for looking after her.
“(It was) very scary, but I’m okay,” True posted.
Australian Luke Bell also reportedly crashed out of the race during the bike leg as humid and windy conditions made for a particularly tough day.
Currie won the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon run event in eight hours four minutes 20 seconds.
Given the weather, it was arguably even more impressive from Currie than last year’s scorching 7:54 course record.
Australian Tim van Berkel finished in 8:23:49 to also qualify for the October Hawaiian Ironman world championships, while compatriot David Dellow completed the men’s podium with his 8:32:12 result.
Adam, Crowley and True were within seconds of each other off the bike and initially, the Australian led the women’s run.
But after recovering from cramp, Adam took the lead around 30km and the New Zealander won in 8:48:34.
Sali was closing on Crowley fast at the end, but the Australian took second with 8:53:38.
Mike Phillips finished 8th and Melanie Burke had a DNF.
Text Credit : AAP and Stuff
Image Credit : Korupt Vision