MANILA, Philippines — Mexican Mauricio Mendez and Radka Kahlefeldt of the Czech Republic ended the Australians’ dominance of Philippine triathlon with wins at Ironman 70.3 Davao.
“That was a hard battle. I was in second place until the final 13 kms. The effort was just too hard.” said Mendez, the reigning Xterra world champion.
At the Azuela Cove, the 22-year-old Mendez rallied from fifth in the opening 1.9km swim and worked his way up in the 90km bike stage then outlasted his veteran rivals in the gruelling 21km run race to nail his first Ironman 70.3 victory here in 3:50:32.
Meanwhile, Tim Reed clocked 3:52:26 to finish second while Tim Van Berkel came in third in 3:53:45 followed by five-time world champion Craig Alexander, also of Australia (3:56:24) and Bradley Weiss of South Africa (3:58:37).
In the women’s race, Radka Kahlefeldt dominated the women’s pro side to triumph in 4:25:38. Kahlefeldt staged an amazing comeback to racing after having her first child in January.
Leading right out from the swim leg then sustained her charge in the bike and run, posting a more than 11-minute victory for her sixth career championship. Japanese Naomi Washizu took second place in 4:36:53 while veteran Philippine triathlon champion Dimity Lee Duke completed the podium in 4:39:12.
Jorry Ycong emerged as the top Filipino finisher in the race that generated so much interest and monstrous traffic in and around the city on race day. He locked 4:24:15, followed in the Filipino elite category by August Benedicto (4:25:02), Banjo Norte (4:25:07), Jumalil Paul (4:36:24) and Benjamin Rana (4:40:42).