Swiss Olympian Ruedi Wild produced a text book performance once again today at Laguna Phuket. This time taking his very first half-distance win at 2014 Challenge Laguna Phuket in 4:02:43, after his debut with title win at 2012 Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT), followed by another champion title successfully defended at 2013 Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
In the women's field it was last year Challenge Laguna Phuket's champion, world champion Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) in 4:27:40 who defended her title today, and led her fellow women athletes by more than 10 minutes.
Wild was third out of the water in 24:24 and then battled neck and neck with Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) and Luke McKenzie (AUS) on the bike before claiming his win on the run with a 1:21 split, crossing the finish line less than two minutes before Croneborg, came 2nd in 04:04:02. McKenzie rounded out the podium in third in 4:06:00.
Hauschildt emerged 2nd from the swim in 24:28 followed only Radka Vodickova (CZE), triple Laguna Phuket Triathlon winner who's known for her swim, then took consistent lead on the bike in 2:29:31 through the run (1:27:06) to her win, almost 15 minutes ahead Parys Edwards (GBR), last week's LPT champion who finished in 4:42:05. Vodickova came in third in 4:45:48.
The race today saw 2013 Challenge Laguna Phuket Champion Rasmus Patraeus (DEN); LPT's four-time champion Massimo Cigana (ITA); Alberto Casadei (ITA), recently-crowned 2014 LPT champion at a tie with Cigana; Till Schramm (DEU); and world-renown triathlon's sweetheart Belinda Granger (AUS) who announced her retirement from pro career at the race.
Wild aims to come back for his fourth win, "I always like to come back here because it means a lot to me. It's one of those races that you want to come, and not one of the races that I feel like I have to do," he said
"Although it's really hot and humid out, making the race really tough today, the surrounding was nice and the hospitality is good here so I'm happy!"
A field of about 550 individual pro and age group athletes representing 40 nationalities jumped into the waters of Bangtao Bay at 6.30am to tackle the 1.9km swim, followed by a 90km bike ride and a 21km run.
Ruedi Wild (SUI) 04:02:43
Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 04:04:02
Luke McKenzie (AUS) 04:06:00
Massimo Cigana (ITA) 04:09:57
Rasmus Petraeus (DEN) 04:10:44
Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 04:27:40
Parys Edwards (GBR) 04:42:05
Radka Vodickova (CZE) 04:45:48
Stef Puszka (AUS) 04:48:54
Beate Goertz (GER) 04:50:19
Text and images courtesy Challenge-Family