Witsup This Weekend: IM Malaysia | 70.3 Los Cabos | 70.3 Xiamen Rob Sheeley November 10, 2017 Race Previews A cracking weekend of triathlon awaits with a full-distance race in testing conditions and two half-distance races. Diana Riesler chases a fourth straight title in Malaysia while a combination of athletes returning after Kona and top-notch half-distance specialists clash in Mexico and China. Text By Laura Siddall and Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images, Sue Hutter and Witsup Riesler Ready For Fourth Malaysian Title Text By Laura Siddall It’s great to see Ironman Malaysia back on the calendar after it was initially announced that 2016 was the last year. It is a race where the conditions can be worse than Kona, with heat and humidity, but where the course particularly the swim and bike are spectacular. The bike taking in the whole island of Langkawi and giving a true and memorable experience. (c) Getty Images Diana Riesler is the undisputed Queen of Langkawi having won the past three years and will be a strong favourite to take her fourth title here. She knows the course well and her strengths are extremely well suited to it. Having not had a great day in Kona (DNF) she’ll be wanting to bounce back strongly to keep her title. Mareen Hufe finished second to Riesler in Malaysia in 2016, and had a strong showing at Kona with a 11th place finish. Hufe is also down to race Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney and Ironman Busselton just a few weeks post Malaysia, as she did last year. Mareen tends to back load her year due to work commitments the rest of the time. However, in 2016, she hadn’t raced Kona, so it’s unknown as to whether this will still be the plan with her Kona results, and/or how she pulls up if she does race all three. Danielle Mack, Parys Edwards, Saleta Castro Nogueira, Manon Genet, Li Yu-Shiao and Challenge Taiwan (full) winner Laurel Wassner could be ones to watch and capable of being in the mix at the end. One cool fact about Malaysia; Similar to Kona the run course has sections along a road that, come nightfall, are pitch black. However, in Malaysia they park cars every 100m and once the sun sets turn the headlights on for all the cars to light the way! Ironman Malaysia 2017 Start List # First Name Surname Country 30 Diana Riesler DEU (GERMANY) 31 Mareen Hufe DEU (GERMANY) 32 Saleta Castro Nogueira ESP (SPAIN) 33 Danielle Mack USA (UNITED STATES) 34 Parys Edwards GBR (UNITED KINGDOM) 35 Shiao-Yu Li TWN (TAIWAN) 36 Laurel Wassner USA (UNITED STATES) 37 Annabel Diawuoh DEU (GERMANY) 38 Caroline Gregory USA (UNITED STATES) 39 Manon Genêt FRA (FRANCE) Big Field Heads To Los Cabos Text By Rob Sheeley Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos takes place at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. A solid field of 22 competitors are scheduled to face the starter in what looks to be a great race in prospect. Angela Naeth returns to Mexico as the reigning champion and looks to be coming into form just in time for a tilt at defending her title. After overcoming a run of injury frustrations, Naeth was recently second to Ellie Salthouse at Ironman 70.3 Miami in a quality field. The talented Canadian is one of the major players in this race. Jeanni Seymour is one of the form half-distance triathletes on the planet at the moment. The fleet-footed South African has won four 70.3 titles in 2017 along with two podiums. Her most recent outing saw her finish third at Ironman 70.3 Austin. She could easily rack up her fifth win for the year this weekend. Lauren Brandon will race for the first time since her bold showing at the Ironman World Championship in Kona last month. Brandon will be in front after the swim and look to take control on the bike. (c) Getty Images Ironman France winner, Carrie Lester, comes into the race after a superb seventh at the Ironman World Championship in Kona. The consistent Aussie should be right in the mix in this race, Lesley Smith finished second in this race last year and will be hoping to replicate that result in 2017. Look for Smith to be particularly strong towards the back end of the race. There’s little that Leanda Cave has not done in the sport of triathlon and she has to be respected in any race she contests. Cave will be right in the firing line early and looking to chase down Brandon on the bike. Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos 2017 Start List 41 Naeth Angela CAN 42 Smith Lesley USA 43 Cave Leanda GBR 44 Seymour Jeanni ZAF 45 Lester Carrie AUS 46 Brandon Lauren USA 47 McQuaid Melanie CAN 48 Moench Skye USA 49 Johann Carly USA 50 Avelar Christine USA 51 Brown Christen USA 52 Corachan Judith ESP 53 Hansen Jennie USA 54 Jerdonek Lindsey USA 55 Mathews Laura USA 56 McBride Rachel CAN 57 Perez Cecilia MEX 58 Perr Sara USA 59 Poblete María Luz CHL 60 Treleaven Sheila CAN 61 VanTassel Amy USA 62 Wiens Kyra USA 63 Donavan Jessie USA (c) Sue Hutter Chura Chases Win In China Text By Rob Sheeley Located on the southwest coast of China, the port city also known as the “garden of the sea” will host Ironman 70.3 Xiamen this weekend. A field of 10 is listed to contest the 2017 edition of the event. Haley Chura races for the first time since contesting the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. It is almost a certainty that she will lead the swim and look to push the pace from there. Chura has enjoyed a return to some of her career best form in 2017 after a long comeback from a bike accident. Among her highlights this year are a win at Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene, a third at the Ironman African Championship and a ninth at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship. Sarah Cameto is an ultra consistent half-distance athlete who is rarely far away from the podium. This looks like the type of race that will suit the American and it would be no surprise to see her on the dais. The experienced Jenny Fletcher has raced at the top level all over the world and is capable of putting herself in contention for the podium in China. Frenchwoman Isabella Boyer Moulin has experience on the course having raced here last year, finishing sixth behind Jeanni Seymour. Swiss athlete Imogen Simmonds is a relatively new pro but could be competitive in a race like this. She recently won a long-course event in China despite having to overcome mechanical issues on the bike. Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2017 Start List 21 Chura Haley USA (United States of America) 22 Boyer Moulin Isabella FRA (France) 23 Fletcher Jenny CAN (Canada) 24 Juhart Monica AUS (Australia) 25 Linnell Allison USA (United States of America) 26 Cameto Sarah USA (United States of America) 27 Zhong Mengying CHN (China) 28 Mullan Eimear IRL (Ireland) 29 Simmonds Imogen CHE (Switzerland) 30 Szeto Leanne HKG (Hong Kong) Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.