MUSCAT, MARCH 2 - French professional triathlete Antoine Mechin bagged the overall crown of the first ever Ironman 70.3 hosted by the Sultanate on Friday. Mechin completed the race course which included 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run in 3 hours 56 minutes and 55 seconds to emerge the fastest among more than 1,000 athletes who took part in the prestigious triathlon event. Russian Paver Gorik claimed the second position with a timing of 4:14:59, while Swiss athlete Rafael Wyss was third best finisher with a timing of 4:16:52.
German triathletes Daniel Konig and Volker Voit completed the top five by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
Mechin had finished second in the 25-29 age group category in the Ironman 70.3 world championships in South Africa last year.
In women’s category, Michela Santini from Italy clinched the top honours by finishing in 4 hours, 28 minutes and 33 seconds.
Six-time Ironman world champion Natascha Badmann of Switzerland came second with a timing of 4:39:24.
Ginlia Bedorin of Italy finished third and Sara Bund from Germany claimed fourth spot. Polish athlete Izabela Sobanska, who topped the female 18-24 age group, completed the top five in the women’s section.
OMAN CLINCH TOP HONOURS
The team from Royal Army of Oman clinched the top spot in the team relay by finishing fastest in 4 hours 20 minutes and 14 seconds.
Team Clive Victor Subash was second and Team United State of Kuwait finished third.
HH Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd al Said was the chief guest for the concluding award ceremony at the Ironman Village in Qurum in presence of top officials from Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Sports and other guests. Also present was Abdulaziz al Obeidani, race manager.
Later, the 55 qualifying spots for 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France, was awarded to the overall winners and the age-group top finishers.
non-wet suit swim in the calm waters of Arabian Sea at the Qurum beach. The bike stage covered the major monuments of Muscat including the Royal Opera House, Muttrah Gate and Sea Road, the Al Bustan Palace and the enticingly fast Wadi Kabir Road.
Al Shatti was the transition point for the athletes and the athletes encircled the Royal Opera House and Intercontinental Hotel Complex in the four-lap run course and entered the finish point at the Ironman Village near the Qurum Park.
Omani youngster Issam al Busaidi made his debut at Ironman 70.3 a memorable one by becoming the best Omani finisher and claiming the second best in GCC level.
Issam, who had a 13th place out of 31 in the male 25-29 age group, finished the race with a timing of 5:07:07.