World-Class Pro Field Set To Dazzle Singapore at PTO Asian Open
SINGAPORE, 20 JULY 2023 – The world’s best triathletes are set to dazzle Marina Bay in August as organisers unveiled a star-studded line-up for the inaugural Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) Asian Open, led by reigning Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt.
PTO world No. 1 Blummenfelt and the rest of the top 10 male PTO triathletes will lead the 20-man field in Singapore for the pro 100km triathlon – comprising a 2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run – on 20 August. The women’s pro race on 19 August will be headlined by the PTO top three: Ashleigh Gentle, Anne Haug and Lucy Charles-Barclay, promising a grand showcase of the sport as the event makes its Asian debut.
The first 14 men’s and women’s athletes unveiled on 20 July qualified automatically by virtue of their PTO World Rankings. They will be joined by six others – who will be announced in due course – to complete a field of 20 in each category.
The confirmed entries are:
|Men’s Pro Race||Women’s Pro Race|
|Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)
Gustav Iden (NOR)
Magnus Ditlev (DEN)
Sam Laidlow (FRA)
Max Neumann (AUS)
Sam Long (USA)
Ben Kanute (USA)
Daniel Baekkegard (DEN)
Aaron Royle (AUS)
Pieter Heemeryck (BEL)
Florian Angert (GER)
Jason West (USA)
Bradley Weiss (RSA)
Denis Chevrot (FRA)
|Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)
Anne Haug (GER)
Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR)
Chelsea Sodaro (USA)
Fenella Langridge (GBR)
Jocelyn McCauley (USA)
Marjolaine Pierre (FRA)
Sara Perez Sala (ESP)
Sarah True (USA)
Lotte Wilms (NED)
Jackie Hering (USA)
Ellie Salthouse (AUS)
Rebecca Clarke (NZL)
Jeanni Metzler (RSA)
PTO World #5 Max Neumann, who won the PTO European Open in May, is confident of carrying his momentum to Singapore. The Australian held off stiff competition from Olympic champions Blummenfelt, Jan Frodeno and Alistair Brownlee to triumph in the PTO Tour curtain raiser in a tight finish.
Neumann said: “The PTO European Open win in Ibiza was definitely the biggest of my career to date, so having another opportunity to back it up in Singapore against all the best athletes in the world is one I’m looking forward to. I think freshness is key and not over racing and not over training. It’s a very hard thing to master, but I’ve not raced since Ibiza and put in some solid training blocks in Australia, similar to what I did ahead of that win.”
Blummenfelt, 29, has made winning in Singapore his main goal as he embarks on a whirlwind trip of three races across two continents in ten days next month. Blummenfelt will race in an Olympic test event in Paris on 18 August, followed by the US$600,000 PTO Asian Open in Singapore two days later before he returns to Europe for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Finland on 27 August.
He said: “I want to race the best athletes, when the prize fund is high and it’s all on the line. That is exactly what it’s like in a PTO Tour race, so the PTO Asian Open is another great opportunity for me to perform and as I’ve said many times before, I love to win and I hate to lose.”
Meanwhile, PTO world No. 2 Anne Haug arrives in Singapore as the reigning PTO European Open champion. The 40-year-old German emerged triumphant in a star-studded field that included the top-ranked Ashleigh Gentle. Haug’s win at the PTO European Open in Ibiza marks her third victory in as many races this season, and she will be looking to extend her remarkable form at the inaugural PTO Asian Open.
Haug said: “Competing against the best in the world really pushes me to get the best out of myself and to see how good you can be. These PTO Tour races do exactly that, which is why I’m looking forward to taking the start line in Singapore next month.”
Gentle is excited to make her return to the Lion City and will be hoping for her first PTO title this year. Having won the PTO US Open and PTO Canadian Open in 2022, the two-time Olympian is no stranger to success in her sport – her accolades include world championship medals and a Commonwealth Games title.
The Australian said: “I have raced in Singapore a couple of times. Once when I was super young, at an Asian Cup and then at the start of 2019. So I have a feel for the place, but obviously, with the PTO Asian Open the race experience will go to the next level for the professionals – but also for the amateurs who have the opportunity to race the same 100km course around what is an iconic city.”
The PTO Asian Open in Singapore from 19 to 20 August is the PTO Tour’s first stop in Asia and will see winners take home US$100,000. Singapore’s first and only Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, who triumphed in the men’s 100m butterfly at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will also be participating in the 100km triathlon for experienced amateurs as part of a relay team with other Team Singapore athletes.
The 100km race will take place in the Marina Bay area against the backdrop of the iconic Singapore skyline. The final course was unveiled by the PTO earlier this week. It includes a 16km circuit for the bike leg which starts and finishes at the Bayfront Event Space and takes athletes up the famous Sheares Bridge for awe-inspiring views of the city. To register for the experienced amateur race or for more information on the course, visit https://protriathletes.org/events/pto-tour/asian-open/age-group.
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