PILI, Camarines Sur – New Zealander Terenzo Bozzone who won last year’s Ironman 70.3 Philippines championship crown is seen by many as still the man to beat among the global field of over 800 multi-sports athletes from 36 countries in the upcoming second edition of the Asian segment of the world championships to be staged Aug. 22 at the Camarines Sur Watersports Complex.
Bozzone, reportedly in top form after winning the championship of two of three races he joined this year, lately the Amica Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Rhode Island, USA last July 11, is the top favorite among the foreign field of some 12 professional athletes to execute a repeat of his winning performance during the Cobra 70.3 Ironman last year.
Expected to give him a run for the glory are big-name professional triathletes including Australian Cameron Brown who finished third and countryman Pete Jacobs fourth placer in last year’s tourney as well as Paul Amey of UK, Justin Cole of Australia, Erich Felbabel of Hongkong, Leon Griffin of Australia and veteran American multisport trainer-athlete Lance Watson who are taking their first stab at the Cobra 70.3 Philippines triathlon.
Their women’s pro counterparts include Hawaiian Bree Wee who finished fourth last year who will match speed, grit and endurance in this tough and grueling sport against former Ironman World Champion and Sydney Olympics triathlon silver medalist Michellie Jones of Australia dubbed the “Queen of Triathlon,” another Australian Rachel Paxton and Magali Tisseyre of Canada.
Local multi-sport standouts are rated number one Filipino triathlete Nonoy Jopson, first Filipino Mt. Everest conqueror Heracleo Oracion, business taipans Fernando Zobel and Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr., Senator Pia Cayetano, screen idol Piolo Pascual, and a host of other local multi-sport buffs.
Better organized and more widely promoted, the second edition of the triathlon has drawn 841 participants this year, some 40 percent more than the maiden edition.
Adding spice and color and setting the stage for the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines is the Alaska Ironkids on August 21, an abbreviated four-age group version of the triathlon for the younger set from age 6 to 14 years where 149 budding triathletes have already registered. – GBClaveria