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IRONMAN 70.3 LAPU-LAPU CEBU: Schoeman, Visser rule pro division

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | April 21,2024 - 01:04 PM

Els Visser and Henri Schoemann pose for a photo during the awarding of IRONMAN 70.3. | CDN Digital / Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman and Dutch Els Visser overcame the scorching summer heat to emerge as champions in the pro division of the IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Cebu on Sunday, April 21, at the Mactan Newtown.

Schoeman from South Africa put on a lopsided performance after leading throughout the grueling race.

Meanwhile, Visser mounted a come-from-behind outing against erstwhile race leaders to capture the women’s pro title.

READ: IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu fields record number of pro triathletes

They topped the race that fielded a record 29 of the world’s best professional long-distance triathletes.

Schoeman, a 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic bronze medalist, finished the race in four hours, two minutes, and 31 seconds.


Trailing him was Kiwi Sam Osborne who clocked in 4:06.40, while British Tom Bishop rounded off the top three finishers in 4:11.01.

READ: IRONMAN 70.3: Meet the 87-year-old former Malaysian triathlete

“I tried to use the swim to my advantage. I tried to get a better gap and make the guys behind me to work as hard as they can,” said Schoeman during the post-race interview.

“I want to race on the front and see what’s happening behind me.”

Schoeman admitted that there were instances that he wanted to quit because of the intense heat of the sun.

READ: Rising athlete Yee eyes  upcoming Ironman 70.3 Lapu-Lapu

However, the hydration areas that provided them ice cold water and electrolytes carried him all the way to the finish line.

“It was really hot, there were a few times that I thought I wouldn’t make it to the end, but’s that triathlon, you have to go with the ups and downs and you just gotta through this survival race and manage,” said Schoeman who is competing for the Paris Olympics in July.


On the other hand, Visser put on a spectacular performance after grabbing the lead midway in the run course.

READ: Mactan Newtown to host Ironman 70.3 Philippines once again

Visser breasted the finish tape in 4:21.29, beating German Anne Reischmann who settled for second in 4:24.39.

Erstwhile leader, Zsanett Bragmayer of Hungary settled for third place in 4:36.41.

According to Visser, her never-say-die spirit allowed her to win the title.

“The conditions here were the most challenging today and I knew that I have to really respect the heat. So, I just really tried to focus in the next kilometer on the bike and the next kilometer on the run and get to the next aid station,” said Visser.

“I knew it wasn’t over until it’s over. So, I stayed focused until the finish line. I’m so proud of my performance today.”

Schoeman and Visser pocketed $5,500 purses each for winning the title. The second and third placers in both men’s and women’s pro got $4,000 and $3000, respectively.

A total of 1,385 triathletes from 54 countries competed in the race co-organized by IRONMAN Group, Sunrise Events Inc., and the Lapu-Lapu City government.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cobra Ironman 70.3, Lapu-Lapu City

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