Freeman Cebu Sports

Schoeman, Visser crowned champions

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

MANILA, Philippines —  Amidst the scorching heat of the sun, South African Olympic medalist Henri Schoeman and Els Visser of the Netherlands stole the show with great supremacy after emerging as champions in the elite pro division of the Ironman 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Cebu at Mactan Newtown yesterday.

Schoeman, who bagged bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, came out as the fastest among the pros in wire-to-wire fashion. He finished the grueling race consisting of a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90km bike, and 21km run with the best time of four hours, two minutes, and 31 seconds to grab the men’s overall crown.

“I honestly didn’t expect to lead the entire way,” said Schoeman.

“It’s just become a survival race and I managed to win. I’m really happy about that,” added Schoeman, who is bracing for third Olympics stint in Paris this July.

New Zealand’s Sam Osborne was a distant second in 4:06:40, while Great Britain’s Thomas Bishop wound up third with a 4:11:01 clocking.

Visser, on the other hand, was crowned queen in the women’s pro with a 4:21:29 clocking.

Anne Reischmann of Germany settled for second in 4:24:39, while Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer landed at third place in 4:36:41.

Even if she just had another race a week before the battle in Mactan, Visser was extra happy that she did not only survive the extremely hot weather but also clinch the coveted title.

“I gave my extra best today, that I’m really proud of,” Visser said.

Both Schoeman and Visser pocketed $5,500.

But more than the prize money, they are hoping to race in the country again because of the warm reception and full support of the locals that made the race easier to take than expected.

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