Triathlon fans are spoilt for choice when it comes to half-distance racing this weekend. Two regional championships are set to take place with Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship and Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship attracting the best in the business. On top of that, a good field will head to Phuket to contest Ironman 70.3 Thailand. 

Text By Laura Siddall and Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images, Sue Hutter, Tommy Wafers and Witsup

 

Big Guns Go Toe To Toe In Bahrain

Text By Laura Siddall

This is possibly the show down everyone was hoping for at the Ironman World 70.3 Championships in Chattanooga as Daniela Ryf goes up against Holly Lawrence. These two have been vocal about wanting to race each other at their best and this could be the fireworks we’ve been waiting for.

(c) Tommy Zaferes

Throw into that excitement World 70.3 Championship runner up Emma Pallant, and a “runner” she sure is! Let’s see what she can bring in an effort to chase down Ryf and Lawrence who will likely be ahead of her after the bike.

Photo: Getty Images

Angela Naeth has returned to racing, clocking up a second place at Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos just being passed in the final stages.

One to definitely watch is Anne Haug. She comes from ITU background but made her mark over the 70.3 distance in Lanzarote earlier this year. Haug ran a blistering 1.18 on a tough course to take the win and will only get better and better over this distance. She’s a real contender.

Sarah Lewis and Jocelyn McCauley are also podium contenders. Lewis has had a fantastic year, culminating with a win at Ironman 70.3 Dublin but has regularly been snapping at the heels of the worlds best over the half distance. McCauley comes off a 9th place in Kona and heads to Bahrain and with a very solid swim and bike and another great run, this could put her in podium contention at the end.

Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship 2017 Start List

Pro Female
Bib No. Last Name First Name Country/State Representing
61 RYF DANIELA AUT
62 PALANT EMMA GBR
63 WUTTI EVA AUT
64 NAETH ANGELA CAN
65 RIESLER DIANA DEU
66 SCHMITT NATASCHA DEU
67 HAUG ANNE DEU
68 MCCAULEY JOCELYN USA
69 LEWIS SARAH GBR
70 SCHULZ JENNY DEU
71 CUMMINGS CHANTAL GBR
74 HALLAM RACHEL GBR
76 THOES SVENJA DEU
77 BELLINGA RAHEL NLD
78 LIE KRISTIN NOR
79 KUMHOFER SIMONE AUT
80 CZESNIK MARIA POL
81 LAWRENCE HOLLY GBR

Luxford Looks To Defend Western Sydney Title

Text By Laura Siddall

Another great line up heads to Western Sydney this weekend.

Annabel Luxford will be hoping the illness that she suffered leading into Challenge Shepparton is behind her and that she is back on track with her scintillating form over the 70.3 distance.

Luxford will have to fight off the ‘on the up’ form of Mel Hauschildt. The first part of 2017 was hampered by injury for Hauschildt, but she’s been racing herself back into shape and word has it she’s looking like she’s timed it well for Western Sydney and then onto Busselton next week.

(c) Getty Images

Amelia Watkinson also had a slow start to the year with a few injury and illness issues but she’s been back to her winning ways in Asia and heads to Sydney as a big contender.

(c) Witsup

Liz Blatchford had a fantastic return to racing at the Noosa Triathlon last month and now steps up to the 70.3 distance to test fitness and form. It’s great to see her back racing and we know she’ll be getting stronger and fitter and it won’t be long before she’s back to her world class best.

Lauren Brandon makes the trip to Australia from the USA, and will be leading out the water and for much of the bike (if not all). Brandon needs to have a solid run off the back though to hold off the fast chasers behind her.

(c) Sue Hutter

Haley Chura will chase Brandon hard out the water, and could be a strong combination with Brandon if they team up on the bike. She’s got a very decent run, but will still have to make it fire on the day to hold off the women coming from behind in the swim.

Anna Eberhardt will be hoping her winning streak on Australian soil (having won Challenge Shepparton) continues to put her in contention in Western Sydney. She’ll face much stronger competition this weekend though, so will need to be on her game in the swim to reduce the deficit and give herself a chance to close the gap with her fast run.

Felicity Sheedy-Ryan is also someone definitely in contention for the podium and if not the win. Sheedy-Ryan recently finished second at the Noosa Triathlon and could do as well or better here. She’s an extremely talented athlete and will certainly be mixing it up at the front throughout the race, and then looking to unleash her run to claim the title.

Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship 2017 Start List

Pro Female
Bib No. Last Name First Name Country/State Representing
41 LUXFORD ANNABEL AUS
42 HAUSCHILDT MELISSA AUS
43 JOYCE RACHEL GBR
44 WATKINSON AMELIA NZL
45 BLATCHFORD LIZ AUS
46 BRANDON LAUREN USA
47 CHURA HALEY USA
48 HUFE MAREEN DEU
49 LESTER SARAH AUS
50 EBERHARDT ANNA HUN
51 THISTLETON JACQUELINE AUS
52 LENDWAY HEATHER USA
53 BROWN CHRISTEN USA
54 CHAPMAN SHANNON AUS
55 CLARKE REBECCA NZL
56 CROSS CHRISTINE USA
57 DENNIS LAURA AUS
58 GILFILLAN COURTNEY AUS
59 MEO PIP NZL
60 SHEEDY‐RYAN FELICITY AUS
61 ŠVADLENKOVÁ PAVLINA CZE

Plenty Of Chances In Phuket

Text By Rob Sheeley

Ironman 70.3 Thailand takes place in the beautiful destination city of Phuket. In 2017, the race will feature a new course with the warm conditions sure to test all athletes.

The race was originally set to be the half-distance debut for the all-conquering short-course and off-road athlete, Flora Duffy. Unfortunately the weight of a heavy 2017 has taken its toll and Duffy will skip the race to recover for 2018.

Last year’s champion Amelia Watkinson, also appears on the start list but will not race as she is also engaged at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Western Sydney, Australia.

Nonetheless, a field boasting plenty of experience a quality recent form with quite a few on the start list capable of gracing the podium.

Dimity-Lee Duke finished second in Thailand last year behind Watkinson. The Aussie races regularly in Asia and this is virtually a local race for her. Expect Duke to be right in the firing line.

Eimear Mullan made a return from a long injury absence with a recent victory at Ironman 70.3 Xiamen against solid opposition. Mullan is as classy as they come and looks to be returning to some of her best form. It would be no surprise to see the Irish speedster rack up consecutive victories.

Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds was second by a mere 12-seconds to Mullan in Xiamen. That sort of form should sit her in terrific stead for this race.

Anna Eberhardt has had a sensational 2017. The Hungarian stormed home to claim Challenge Shepparton two weeks ago. She has also won races at Ironman 70.3 Taiwan and Challenge Nakhon Nayok. A win is here is well within her capability. Eberhart also appears on the start list at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Western Sydney.

Parys Edwards made the podium in this race in 2016 and will be looking to go even better this year.

Kate Bevilaqua Crawford is experienced and regularly produces quality results in Asia. She has the ability to find a step on the dais in Taiwan.

Ironman 70.3 Thailand 2017 Start List

RACE BIB NUMBER

NAME

31

Amelia Watkinson

32

Flora Duffy

33

Dimity Lee Duke

34

Parys Edwards

35

Kate Bevilaqua Crawford

37

Robin Pomeroy

39

Sylvia Gehnboek

41

Eimear Mullan

42

Annelise Jefferies

43

Magda Nieuwoudt

44

Imogen Simmonds

45

Manami Lijima

46

Laurel Wassner

47

Isabelle Moulin

About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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