McMahon, Steffen bag pro division titles
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Brent McMahon of Canada finally made it on top while Caroline Steffen of Switzerland continued her dominance as both ruled the pro division of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines yesterday.
The 33-year-old McMahon crossed the finish line at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in three hours, 59 minutes and five seconds to win the men’s pro title while the 36-year-old Steffen finished in 4:32.34 to secure the women’s crown for the third straight year in the Philippines.
Steffen, also the winner of the 2014 Century Tuna 5150 Philippines crown, had troubles in the 1.9-kilometer swim leg but managed to pull off the win with strong performances in the 90-kilometer bike and 21-kilometer run segments.
“I consider this race very special because I won my third straight title here in Ironman Philippines,” Steffen said. “I did not pressure myself.
Instead, I enjoyed myself swimming and biking but I had difficulties in swimming.”
The race was also extra special for McMahon, who finally made it on top after just finishing fifth in last year’s edition. Making it more satisfying was the fact that he had to climb from behind two tough Australians to bag the title.
McMahon was trailing Australians Sam Betten and Casey Munro in the swim and bike legs. He made his move in the run leg, taking the lead midway through that race and holding on until the finish line. He finished the 21k run in 1:18.00 while Betten clocked 1:26.03 and Munro 1:31.42.
“I was very frustrated last year because I was under prepared,” McMahon said. “I promised myself to win the title that’s why I trained hard prior to this race.”
The Philippine crown is the third Ironman title for McMahon this year alone. He also won in Boise and Hawaii. Betten finished second with a time of 4:07.30 while Casey Munro (4:13.18) finished third but was disqualified after marshals caught him violating the drafting rules.
Aside from drafting, officials found a second violation when Munro’s bike bib number was missing.
“I violated the rules but I did not intend to do it. As a good athlete, I have to follow the marshal’s decision. There’s always another year so I’ll do my best to bounce back,” said Munro, the men’s champion of the Century Tuna 5150 Philippines this year.
Cameron Brown of New Zealand automatically climbed to third after Munro’s disqualification.
DUEÑAS PLACES SECOND
Lone Filipina pro triathlete Monica Torres came in last in the women’s pro with a time of 5:03.35.
Cebuano triathlete John Philip Dueñas (4:41:59) placed third for the second straight year in the men’s Filipino elite division, which was won by August Benedicto (4:34.55). Banjo Norte of Cagayan de Oro City (4:40:44)finished second but was disqualified for allegedly failing to stay inside the penalty box after being caught drafting.
With this, Dueñas climbed to second while Kristiane Lim (4:52:48) improved to third place.
Veteran triathlete Joyette Jopson, Alaska Tri-Aspire Team coach Mathieu O’Halloran’s girlfriend, topped the Filipino elite female category with a time of 5:28.31.
Team Roro composed of Milo marathon queen Mary Joy Tabal, Municipality of Polanco Mayor Pinpin Uy and University of San Carlos’ Keith Ocampo lorded the mixed relay category with a time of 4:20.50.
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