It has been and still is the number one international triathlon race in Singapore, with participants drawn from 63 countries that include the likes of the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Japan, France, Malaysia, Philippines and Germany. The 2012 Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore Triathlon saw some 407 Singaporeans and 1,155 foreign athletes take to the waters and roads of Singapore’s east coast for the sixth time in what was truly an exhilarating day of multi-sport racing. 32 professional triathletes also made their mark here as they earned valuable points for the World Ironman 70.3 Championship in Las Vegas, USA, in September.
“The response for the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore this year has been overwhelming. We have seen a continued growth in the international entries, marketing Singapore as a must-visit destination for a triathlete who wants to enjoy a unique Ironman 70.3 race experience.” says Adrian Mok, Director, Hi-Tri.
Taking into account Singapore’s relatively limited land mass, loops were aplenty in this 70.3 race route. Triathletes had to swim twice around a rectangular course adjacent to East Coast Park to cover 1.9 kilometres before proceeding on a triple bike loop that stretched all the way to Changi International Airport and back to make up 90.1 kilometres. The final half marathon distance (21.1 kilometres) was another trio challenge around the East Coast Lagoon within East Coast Park. The hot and humid climate didn’t make it any easier; the mental toll on triathletes would have been astounding but what an emotional relieve it’d have been at the FINISH line.
Australian, Josh Amberger, topped the elite’s men field with a timing of 03hrs 54min 49sec. It is his third win in Singapore to date and first Ironman 70.3 title – following 2009 wins in the OSIM Singapore Triathlon and ITU Singapore Premium Asia Cup. Amberger came in second place in both the swim and bike leg, which saw close finishes among the male elites, before giving it his all to pull away during the run.
"The humidity was a challenge but I came here to win and my focus was on crossing the finish line. I’m very happy with the results and I look forward to many more races in Asia.” comments Amberger.
Coming in second place was Junior World Championship 2008 podium finisher, Denis Vasiliev, from Russia, followed by New Zealander, Daniel McNeice.
Among the female elite pack, it was Mary Beth Ellis from the USA who led from START to FINISH, having shaved two minutes off her winning time in 2011 by completing the race in 04hrs 19min 35sec. First runner-up, Michelle Wu (Australia), put in an extensive effort during the final run leg to close the gap but Ellis did good to place herself beyond reach.
On her win, Ellis shares “The third running lap was the hardest part for me and I feared Michelle would catch up as she’s a strong runner. Fortunately, I was able to hang on for the win and it helped that I was able to pace myself with the male athletes during the bike and run. I’m thrilled to be back and I love Singapore. It’s a great honour to be able to come back and defend my title.”
Australia’s Kate Bevilaqua did well to finish third.
On the local front, the first Singaporean (for three consecutive years) to cross the FINISH line was Willie Loo, with a timing of 04hrs 43min 34sec. Choo Ling Er finished in 05hrs 07min 35sec to clinch top honours in the domestic female field.
Know this: the oldest competitors were 76-year old Tsuji Kazuharu (male) and 65-year old Nishibori Mieko (female) – both from Japan. You’re never too old.
In an encouraging conclusion, the Handcycling Association Singapore (HAS) fielded its biggest contingent in the event’s history this year, with eight physically challenged and six able-bodied athletes taking part. Handcycling is a sport allowing Physical Challenged athletes to use their upper body strength and cycle on handcycles. HAS also hopes to compete amongst the world’s best in the 2014 ASIAN ParaGames, 2015 ASEAN Para Games and the Paralympics.
ALL PRO MALE ATHLETES
- Josh Amberger - 03hrs 54min 49sec
- Denis Vasiliev - 03hrs 59min 25sec
- Dylan McNeice - 04hrs 00min 51sec
ALL PRO FEMALE ATHLETES
- Mary Beth Ellis - 04hrs 19min 35sec
- Michelle Wu - 04hrs 25min 31sec
- Kate Bevilaqua - 04hrs 32min 19sec
ALL MALE ATHLETES FROM SINGAPORE
- Loo Chuan Rong - 04hrs 43min 34sec
- Ashley Liew - 04hrs 45min 49sec
- Shem Leong - 04hrs 53min 13sec
ALL FEMALE ATHLETES FROM SINGAPORE
- Choo Ling Er - 05hrs 07min 35sec
- Chang Shuwen - 05hrs 32min 55sec
- Kristal Tay - 05hrs 36min 35sec
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