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Freeman Cebu Sports

Pinoys reign supreme (Benedicto, Santiago stamp classes in Megaworld Ironman 70.3)

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Filipino triathletes August Benedicto and Ines Santiago shared the limelight after reigning supreme in their respective divisions in the Megaworld Ironman 70.3 Philippines presented by AIA Vitality at the sprawling Mactan Newtown yesterday.

Benedicto, who just turned 38 last August 2, gave himself a belated birthday gift after emerging as overall champion in the male category with the fastest time of four hours, 29 minutes, and 16 minutes.

Interestingly, Benedicto placed only ninth in his class and 38th overall after the 1.9-kilometer open water swim.

It did not dampen his spirits though.

Fighting back with great resolve, Benedicto managed to narrow down his gap from the early leaders during the formidable 90km bike stage passing through the scenic CCLEX bridge.

Gaining confidence and momentum, Benedicto continued to push himself to the limit until he finally snatched the lead midway in the 21km run. He never looked back from there on the way to cross the finish line first, besting 467 other male competitors.

“Parang gusto kong huminto sa simula, but at the same time I told myself, I’m here already so tinuloy-tuloy ko,”  said Benedicto.

Australia’s Mark Jansen came out second with a time of 4:36:05 while Benedicto’s fellow countrymen John Dedeus Alcala (4:37:54), Satar Salem (4:38:39), and Jailani Lamama (4:39:38) who are all mainstays of Tri-SND Barracuda based in Lanao del Norte swept the the third to fifth spots.

Benedicto also topped the men’s 35-38 class while Alcala lorded it over the men’s 25-29. The top finishers in other age groups were Kenneth Bonda (18-14, 4:55:50), Leonard Rondin (30-34, 4:43:09), Petr Lukosz (40-44, 4:43:39), Mark Jansen (45-49, 4:36:05), Michael Rudolp (50-54, 5:10:00), Herve Potus (55-59, 6:00:50;) Henry Clark (60-64, 5:36:49), Martin Buchholtz (65-69, 6:11:13), and Kilhak Kunimoto (70-74, 6:15:57).

In the female battle, Santiago snared the overall crown with the best time of 5:23:14.

Leyann Ramo wound up second in 5:32:00 while Cebu’s pride Cianyl Gonzalez settled for third with a 5:36:09 clocking. Hong Kong’s Wang Ruby Cheng (5:36:53) and Malaysia’s Mei See Chin (5:42:33) completed the top five.

Santiago also ruled the 40-44 age group, Ramo in the 30-34, and Gonzalez in the 25-29 class.

The rest of the top performers were Angelica Jasmine Rejas (18-24, 6:09:04), Mitch Otsuri-Park (35-39, 6:33:46), Nerissa Stafford (45-49, 6:09:25), Maria Evangeline Endaya (50-54, 6:25:00), and Tanya Lee-Parker (55-59, 5:48:11).

Meanwhile, Team Spectrum Renal Specialty lorded it over the mixed relay while the Alfie Catalan-led Spectrum Nephro Mayo and Team Go4Less W1 bannered by Mathirlda Crog dominated the men’s and women’s relay, respectively.

TRIATHLON

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