PUTRAJAYA: Jan Rehula of the Czech Republic emerged as the champion of the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya triathlon race yesterday after making a sprint 500m from the finish line to overtake Italy’s Domenico Passuello.
Rehula clocked 4’01:19 to win the race (1.8km swim, 90.1km cycle and 21.1km run) ahead of Passuello (4’01:53). Australian Cameron Watt was third in (4’03:52).
“I was trailing Passuello after the swim and he maintained the lead going into the run segment,” said Rehula.
Tough guy: Jan Rehula celebrates his triumph.
“The run was pretty hard because of the high humidity. But I felt great and decided to give it a push to overtake Passuello near the end.”
In the women’s category, Rachael Paxton of Australia showed her true strength in cycling when she came from fifh place out of the swim to grab the lead and hold on to it until the end.
Paxton clocked 4’30:47 and American Katya Meyer finished second in 4’36:17 followed by New Zealander Erin O’hara in 4’37:33.
Malaysia’s best finisher in the men’s race was Shahrom Abdullah, who clocked 4’32:44 for fifth place.
The race in Putrajaya yesterday attracted 300 participants and 25 slots will be given to athletes to race in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Florida on Nov 14.