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Pro Triathletes Ready for Ironman 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Battle

Professional triathletes from around the world are set to battle for the IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Cebu presented by Megaworld The Mactan Newtown title this Sunday in the Philippines.

The professional men’s race features 15 athletes and the women’s professional race 14, representing 14 countries, who will go head-to-head across the 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21.1km run.

Sunday’s race is set to be the first professional IRONMAN 70.3 race in Asia for 2024, with IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 race winners, along with Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists on the start line in Cebu.

The top seeded athlete in the men’s race is Denmark’s Daniel Bækkegård, a multiple-time champion in both IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races. Bækkegård most recently claimed victory at December’s IRONMAN Western Australia, setting a new course best time on his way to victory.

South Africa’s Henri Schoeman will be out to ensure that Bækkegård doesn’t have it all his own way on Sunday, with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist looking forward to racing in the Philippines.

“I’m feeling good, I’m excited for my first big race of the year. I’ve had a good block of training so I’m confident in my form and look forward to seeing how it shows up on race day,” said Schoeman. “Preparations have gone well, it looks to be a very hot race so I have done as much heat prep as I can. Coming off more volume in the off season, I’m hoping that will work out for me in the IRONMAN 70.3 as my focus is still on Super League and the Olympics.

“It’s my first time going to the Philippines and also racing there so I am excited to see what the culture is all about. It looks like a great destination so I’m quite excited to be there and be part of the experience,” he said. “The competition looks good, the ones who stand out are Tom Bishop and Daniel Bækkegård, it looks like they are going to be big competitors, as for me, I’m still trying to get some experience in the middle distance so I’m here to learn as much as I can as well as give it my best shot to win the race.”

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Great Britain’s Thomas Bishop is another athlete set to race at his first professional IRONMAN 70.3 in the Philippines and heads into the race after finishing second at last month’s IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong.

“I’m looking forward for IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu, it’s somewhere in the world I’ve never been before and the climate will be really challenging,” said Bishop. “Geelong gave me a bit of confidence in the run, however I think this race will be totally different so I’ll have to come up with a new strategy to get a good result.

“I’ve been based in Noosa for the last few months and hopefully have been exposed to enough heat to be prepared. Training has been ok, I was really fatigued and a bit sick after my first race, so not perfect but hopefully enough to hold onto form since Geelong last month.”

There is a strong contingent of Oceania athletes on the start line, including 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong champion Sam Osborne and Michael Tong from New Zealand, and Mooloolaba Triathlon winner Caleb Noble and Charlie Quin, Jarrod Osborne, Calvin Amos, Nick Carling and Nathan Dortmann from Australia.

The women’s race is headlined by British athlete Lucy Byram, who is another professional set to visit the Philippines for the first time and heads to the race after lining up in Singapore last weekend.

“I’m feeling very excited heading to IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu, this is my first time visiting the Philippines so I am excited to explore the local area and of course the food,” said Byram. “Coming off the back of racing in Singapore the body is definitely tired from the race and being on your limit in such extreme conditions. Luckily there are eight days between the two races so after a few more days of recovery I’m sure I will be ready to go again on Sunday

“I think I am most looking forward to riding across the high CCLEX bridge multiple times,” she said. “I have also I have been told great things about the support from the local community and volunteers on the course so I’m hoping they will give me the pick me up I need in what is going to be another hot and humid race.

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“I’m not too sure what to expect from Sunday’s race. I am still learning how to race in these conditions and manage my efforts without overheating. I think the main goal would be to get on the podium, and who knows, maybe even the top step if things go well,” said Byram.

Anne Reischmann is another athlete heading to Cebu after racing in Singapore last week, with the German a multiple-time IRONMAN 70.3 podium finisher since 2019.

Dutch athlete Els Visser will be looking to make her mark on the event having spent plenty of time training in Asia recently, the 34-year-old is also an IRONMAN champion, most recently at IRONMAN New Zealand in 2023.

Like the men’s race there are plenty of Australian and New Zealand athletes set to race, with Dimity-Lee Duke, Sophie Perry, Emily Donker and Aleisha Wesley representing Australia and Samantha Kingsford, Heather Neill and Angharad Llewellyn from New Zealand.

Sunday’s race will be the first time that professionals have raced in Cebu since 2019, with the professional athletes racing alongside more than 1,400 age-group participants, representing 55 countries.

 IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Cebu – Professional Men’s Start List

  1. Daniel Bækkegård – Denmark
  2. Henri Schoeman – South Africa
  3. Thomas Bishop – Great Britain
  4. Filipe Azevedo – Portugal
  5. Sam Osborne – New Zealand
  6. Caleb Noble – Australia
  7. Charlie Quin – Australia
  8. Jarrod Osborne – Australia
  9. Tuan Chun Chang – Taiwan
  10. Calvin Amos – Australia
  11. Michael Tong – New Zealand
  12. Ben Stern – United States of America
  13. Nick Carling – Australia
  14. Nathan Dortmann – Australia
  15. Luke Mathews – United Arab Emirates

IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Cebu – Professional Women’s Start List

  1. Lucy Byram – Great Britain
  2. Anne Reischmann – Germany
  3. Els Visser – Netherlands
  4. Lottie Lucas – United Arab Emirates
  5. Nina Derron – Switzerland
  6. Dimity-Lee Duke – Australia
  7. Sophie Perry – Australia
  8. Emily Donker – Australia
  9. Samantha Kingsford – New Zealand
  10. Aleisha Wesley – Australia
  11. Heather Neill – New Zealand
  12. Angharad Llewellyn – New Zealand
  13. Leanne Szeto – Hong Kong
  14. Zsanett Bragmayer – Hungary
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