World champion Patrick Lange from Germany crosses the finish line in the men’s Techcombank Ironman 70.3-Asia Pacific Championship 2019 in the central city of Đà Nẵng on Sunday. — VNS Photo Trần Khánh
ĐÀ NẴNG — World champion Patrick Lange of Germany won the men’s category at the Techcombank Ironman 70.3-Asia Pacific Championship 2019 in the central city of Đà Nẵng on Sunday, marking his first title from the race in Việt Nam. Former world champion Holly Lawrence of the UK took the win on the women's side.
Lange finished with a time of three hours, 49 minutes and nine seconds. The endurance event included a 1.9-kilometre swim, 90km bike and 21km run.
“I was so happy seeing the finish line," Lange said after the race. "It’s a tough race in the warm and humid conditions in central Việt Nam."
“Techcombank Ironman 70.3-Asia Pacific Championship was the first race of the season and I chose it on purpose," he said. "It was also my first chance to see where my fitness is right now.”
In the women’s division, former Ironman 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence completed her race in four hours, four minutes and 41 seconds.
Last year's champion Radka Kahlefeldt from the Czech Republic finished third in 4:11:4.
“It’s happy finishing today’s hot weather race, even if I could only manage the third place," said Kahlefeldt. "It was a very strong field with powerful athletes. I really love the race in Việt Nam. People are very friendly and food here is very delicious."
The Czech triathlete came behind Sarah Crowley from Australia, who clocked in at 4:8:55 for second place.
2017 champion Tim Van Berkel of Australia finished second in the men’s division in 3:50:57, ahead of his countryman Tim Reed, who came third with a time of 3:52:14.
On Saturday, the Ironkids race was held for kids in age groups from 5 to 10 and 11 to 14.
In the Sunrise Sprint Việt Nam (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) for newcomers and amateurs on Saturday, Vietnamese athlete Huỳnh Minh Khôi won the race in 1:9:25.
Triathletes also joined the Newborns Việt Nam run from the Hyatt Regency Spa & Resort to the Đà Nẵng Paediatrics and Obstetrics Hospital in order to raise awareness for the work of Newborns Việt Nam, a Đà Nẵng-based charity focused on reducing infant mortality. The race has helped raise more than US$50,000 to support the charity.
This year's event was the Asia-Pacific Championship for the first time. It drew more than 2,200 triathletes, including 40 professionals and 1,000 Vietnamese athletes, from 50 countries and territories.
Đà Nẵng has hosted successfully the race since 2015. Việt Nam became as the second country after the Philippines to host a regional Ironman race. Last year, the city's tourism and service industry brought in revenue of US$9.4 million from the event.
Đà Nẵng has agreed to host the race every year until 2022. — VNS