Tim Reed and Amelia Watkinson dominates Ironman 70.3 Thailand
Some may call it the best ever season-closer at IRONMAN 70.3 Thailand, when world champion Tim Reed narrowly clinched the title over Germany’s two-time world champion Michael Raelert in Phuket. It was a nail-biting start to finish, as the Australian made sure he finished ahead of his closest rival, just by a whisker.
As a result of Reed’s sheer dominance, Tim van Berkel came in 16 minutes later in third place while the rest trickled in slowly. Amelia Watkinson also dominated the women’s race, finishing 9 minutes ahead of her rivals.
There’s no stopping Tim Reed even after he won the IRONMAN 70.3 world titles, still showing his dominance in the Asia region and winning the IRONMAN Australia course with a record debut. The Australian outfought his German rival with a trademark run completing the 21.1 km distance in 1:17:39 to secure the race win in 3:48:33—the 12th IRONMAN 70.3 win of his career to go with 20 podiums.
Weather was kind in Phuket, Reed exited the swim with a five second deficit, but more than made up for it by stamping his authority alongside Michael Raelert on the 90 km bike leg. They had racked up a comfortable nine-minute lead on their nearest pursuers by the time they entered transition.
In the run, this is where Reed is most comfortable but he allowed Raelert a slight seven-second advantage by 4 km. By halfway, Reed had resumed control to open a 30 second advantage, without looking back as he chalked another title in Asia.
“I came in a bit nervous because I had not done much running because I wanted to get my cycling back on track which worked well because I felt great on the bike. Michael really pushed hard and together we were able to open a margin on the field and make it a race between the two of us. I am stoked to get a win over Michael. I have so much respect for him as a competitor,” says Reed.
In the battle for third, van Berkel proved too strong for his fellow Aussie Matt Burton on the run as the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific champion grabbed the final spot on the podium in 4:05:32—just over a minute clear of Burton.
Watkinson never slows down
New Zealander Amelia Watkinson chalked up a comfortable victory in 4:21:01 at her ‘home training ground’ in Phuket. Watkinson, who has been a formidable force in Asia this season, dominated from the outset holding a seven-second lead out of the swim and then destroying the field on the bike with a 2:20:43 leg to hold a lead in excess of eight minutes going into the run.
The 25-year-old New Zealander then ran out to routine win with Great Britain’s Parys Edwards unleashing a stunning final leg of to grab second from Australia’s Dimity Lee-Duke.
“I was super-happy to cross the finish line first with a good pro field. I had a nice lead on the bike. I’ve enjoyed that as my race tactic this season to go hard on the bike and it worked well today,” says Watkinson.
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