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)

 

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