Former champs eye age-group victories

The Philippine Star
Former champs eye age-group victories
Eric van der Linden.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines —  Six former champions, among them two full IRONMAN winners, are shifting their focus to the age-group competition as they step back to make way for the return of elite professionals in the IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu set to blast Sunday in Mactan, Cebu.

Czech Petr Lukosz and Dutch Eric van der Linden will still be aiming for the overall championship in the men’s division of the challenging 1.9 km swim, 90km bike and 21k run race but might opt to concentrate on their performances within their respective age divisions, given the high level of competition expected in the main event, which boasts a world-class roster of professionals.

Lukosz, who triumphed under tough conditions to claim the full IRONMAN title in Subic in 2022, leads the field in the 40-44 age category, while Van Linden, who succeeded Lukosz the following year, competes in the 50-54 age division.

Local standout John Alcala, who emerged victories in the international IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Princesa in 2022 and dominated the IM 70.3 Subic last year, headlines the men’s 30-34 age class in the event presented by Megaworld and The Mactan Newtown.

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