Others in the fold are Lovelynn Guioguio, Heidi Chua, Apple Fudolin, Lina de Guzman, Anya Tanpinco, Majorie Pulumbarit, Lucy Landicho, Eva Minoza, Jan Punzalan, Sylvia Torres and amateurs Nikki Bruce, Marianne Bustos and Park Hyo Jin of Korea.(pr)
SUBIC – Debuting Caroline Steffen of Switzerland and Casey Munro of Australia wasted little time making their marks in the Century Tuna 5150 Triathlon, dominating the premiere pro division races right on their first tries here, Sunday.
A champion in Ironman 70.3 competitions but vying in the 5150 Olympic distance triathlon race for the very first time, Steffen blitzed the opposition and wrested the women’s pro diadem from three-peat-seeking Australian Belinda Granger with so much to spare.
Steffen, nicknamed “Xena” after the TV heroine, finished the 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run race inside the SBMA in 2:15:32, blowing past Granger who checked in much later at 2:25:05.
Local ace Monica Torres hoisted the Philippine flag as she came in third with her 2:28:20 effort.
Steffen’s training buddy Munro made an equally impressive romp in the men’s pro category of the Century Tuna-sponsored event that drew 1,285 participants.
A former pro cyclist, Munro banked on his riding skills to lay the foundation for a victorious campaign in 2:07:22, beating compatriot Michael Murphy (2:08:26) and Simon Agoston (2:09:13) for the title.
Jonard Saim ruled the men’s Filipino elite category, clocking 2:13:45 against Banjo Norte’s 2:14:46 and John Chicano’s 2:15:20.
Ma. Claire Adorna topped the distaff side, submitting 2:32:45 against Jenny Rose Guerrero’s 2:42:28 and Lea Coline Langit’s 2:46:26.
Steffen made the female pro race a no contest, beating holder Granger by nearly 10 minutes.
“I didn’t expect it like that. That’s a pretty big margin for an Olympic distance race but of course, I’m more than happy I did it. I had a good day and I just went for it,” said Steffen, who netted $2,000 for the triumph.
Munro kept the Australians’ stranglehold on the men’s pro division, which was won by Luke McKenzie last year and David Dellow in the inaugural division in 2012.
“I had a perfect race today,” said Munro.” I played it tactically and used my strength – biking – to beat the others.”
The event was backed by Gatorade, Alaska, Aqua Sphere, Timex, Smart Live More, PLDT, Dept. of Tourism, Planet Sports, P&G, Prudential Guarantee, Intercare, The Philippine STAR, DeVant, LBC, Oakley, Subic Bay and GU Roctane.(pr)
Swiss Caroline Steffen, fondly known in the triathlon world as “Xena,” is also in the fold, making the chase for the crown a lot more interesting and competitive. A member of the Alaska Tri-Aspire Team, Steffen is coming off her conquest of the Ironman Australia Asia-Pacific tourney in Melbourne last March. She has been successful in the country as showcased by her victories in the Cobra Ironman in 2012 and 2013.
Equally determined to crowd the fancied bets is Australian pro Jodie Scott, who placed seventh in the 2014 Challenge Taiwan.
Local star Monica Torres, the elite champion of the last two editions of the Century Tuna 5150, carries the fight for the Philippines. She dominated the Asian elite division of the 2014 Challenge Philippines with the veteran campaigner hoping to sustain her momentum going to this competition.
The battle for the male pro crown is also expected to be an open race after l