New Zealand triathletes scored a remarkable double with victories for Braden Currie and Teresa Adam at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns on Sunday.
Currie, who won Ironman New Zealand on debut last year, cast aside an indifferent race in Taupo this year to win in a time of 7hr 54min 58sec and smash the course record of 8:02:17 set last year.
His efforts were matched by 28-year-old Auckland triathlete Adam, who claimed the women’s title in just her second ironman, holding off triple world champion Mirinda Carfrae in a time of 8:53:16 to finish nearly five minutes inside the race record for the 1500m swim, 180km cycle and 42km run.
“I had a tough few months with a poor effort at Kona and at Ironman New Zealand so it was good to lay it on the line today and crush it.
“I had a good moment at the right time at the 34km mark on the run which was probably the only moment when Javier slowed. I went for it and managed to stick it and go on. To crush the eight hours is a real bonus.”
Currie and Gomez ran side by side until 8km from the finish when Currie dug deep to open the winning lead.
Gomez finished 1:40 behind while Bozzone recovered strongly over the final 5km to claim the final place on the podium in 8:00.06.
Adam, a former New Zealand representative in triathlon and water polo, gave the sport away after several years of injuries.
The qualified personal trainer and accredited coach in cycling and triathlon ventured back to the longer distance in the sport for recreation before trying her hand at ironman, finishing second in Taupo this year.
She then decided to try her luck in Cairns, with her unexpected victory leaving her US$30,000 (NZ$42,700) better off and an automatic spot at the world championship in Hawaii in October.
She led Carfrae into the marathon run, who cut the advantage to under four minutes by 25km but ran out of fuel while Adam picked up her pace.
“I couldn’t believe that I’ve won it. I just can’t believe it,” said Adam. “I have had so many injuries for so many years that I only started longer distance stuff for fun. To win this today is quite weird.
“I was pacing myself and I had targets and was not concerned with what others were doing around me. I thought Rinny [Carfrae] would race past me.”