Five Kiwis earn IRONMAN 70.3 World titles in Australia

By Sports Media

New Zealand has five triathletes on top of the world after winning their respective age group titles at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships on the Sunshine Coast at the weekend.

A further five triathletes earned a spot on the podium among the 3000 competitors at the championships, held for the first time in the southern hemisphere.

Leading the way in the professional fiel was the 2009 world champion Terenzo Bozzone who finished an impressive fourth in the pro competition.

Perched handily out of the swim and on the bike, Bozzone settled behind the leaders on the 21.1km run and moved strongly before being passed by Swiss athlete Rudi Wild late in the race for the final spot on the podium.

The new world champions are Jason Hall (18-24 years), Bevan McKinnon (50-54 years), Brian Boyle (75-79 years), Garth Barfott (80 years plus) and Michele Allison (60-64 years).
Garth Barfoot file photo.  Credit: Delly Carr

Hall, who is trained by McKinnon in Auckland, took out the 18-24 years age group in 4:06.20, the fastest of all the Kiwi age group competitors

McKinnon (Auckland) had a tough battle before winning the 50-54 years division, holding on in the run to edge out Oliver Degenhardt (Belgium) by just 23 seconds.

Boyle followed up his victory in the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii last year with a world title in the IRONMAN 70.3 distance as well. But the outstanding Thames competitor had to work exceptionally hard for his victory.

He was behind American Jim Scott by three minutes in the 1.9km swim, but rode strongly to take a two minute advantage on to the 21.1km run.

He was still two minutes ahead with 3kms remaining but as he faltered, the American sped up, with the pair in a sprint finish down the finishing chute with Boyle able to hold him off by just two seconds.

Barfoot, a well known figure in the triathlon scene, was the oldest competitor in the race and the only starter in the 80 year category.

The 80-year-old, who has recovered from two hip replacements on the same leg after accident, was the last competitor to finish in 8:16.56.

Allison is another with some strong recent results at the IRONMAN World Championship, was all class in winning the 60-64 years division in 5:35.24.

The other New Zealanders who finished on the podium included Greg Ball (Auckland), who was second in the 55-59 years age group; Niels Madsen (Wellington< third in the 60-64 years category Paul Berry (Auckland, second in the 65-69 years; Natalie Gaskin (Wellington, second in the 35-39 years age group and Debbie Clark (Tauranga) who was third in the 60-64 years division.

Attention now turns to the IRONMAN World championship in Hawaii in five weeks, Kellogg’s IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo in December.

Leading New Zealand placings at Mooloolaba were:

Men, Pro: Terenzo Bozzone 3:45:51, 4; Mark Bowstead 3:52.35, 16; Guy Crawford 3:54.21, 18; Mike Phillips 4:00.06, 23; Graham O’ Grady 4:00.27, 24; Matt Franklin 4:01.45, 26.

18-24: Jason Hall (Auckland) 4:06.20, 1; 35-39 years: Paul Davies (Christchurch) 4:14.46, 4; 45-49 years: Bevan McKinnon (Auckland) 4:22.33, 1; 50-54: Walter Thorburn (Auckland) 4:30.49, 4; 55-59: Greg Ball (Auckland) 4:39.42, 2; 60-64: Niels Madsen (Wellington) 4:55.47, 3; 65-69: Paul Berry (Auckland) 5:08.05, 2; 75-79: Brian Boyle (Thames) 6:34.07, 1; 80 plus: Garth Barfoot (Auckland) 8:16.56, 1.

Female: 25-29 years: Taryn Ryan (Wellington) 4:47.10, 4; 35-39: Natalie Gaskin (Wellington) 4:46.31, 2; 45-49 years: Kristine Reid (Auckland) 5:03.59, 4; 50-54 years: Aimee Perrett (Manawatu) 5:14.43, 4; 60-64: Michele Allison (Wellington) 5:35.24, 1; Debbie Clark (Tauranga) 5:53.24, 3.
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