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OUT WITH A BANG

By: Dale G. Rosal November 08,2015 - 01:02 AM

Retiring Belinda Granger promises to do her best in final pro race

SAFEGUARD 5150 TRIATHLON/NOV.07,2015:Wilfredo Steven Uytengso Sunrise Events gave a cake to her as her last race on triathlon to Belinda Granger with her is Dimity Duke,Monica Torres during the meet the pros of the 5150 of the Safeguar triathlon in Panglao Bohol.(CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

Wilfredo Steven Uytengsu of Sunrise Events Inc. gives Aussie Belinda Granger a cake as part of a tribute for the retiring triathlete. Also in the photo are Dimity Duke and Filipina Monica Torres. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

Panglao, Bohol—Multi-titled triathlete Belinda Granger will be making her final appearance in a professional race when she competes in the Safeguard for Men’s 5150 Triathlon today in this island resort known for its pristine white beaches.

The 45-year-old Granger from Australia announced last August during the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines in Cebu that she will retire from the pro scene this year.

Since this will be her last race, Granger said she hopes to go out with a bang.

“I’m 100 percent sure I’ll go out there doing my best with a big smile on my face,” said Granger in a press conference at the pavilion of the posh Bellevue Hotel and Resort, also the starting point of the race.

Granger said even if she is retiring from the pro ranks, she’s still going to be active in the sport.

“You won’t get rid of me for a very long time because as long as you love a sport, you know you won’t rest for good. Triathlon here in the Philippines gave so much to me,” she said.

Granger left a deep mark in the Philippine triathlon scene as one of the most loved triathletes because of her charismatic and jolly personality. She is described by most who know her as the most gracious triathlete to cross the finish line.  She finished more than 50 full distance Ironman races in her 24 years.

Yesterday, her fellow pro triathletes, her husband Justin, Sunrise Events Inc. (SEI) big boss Wilfred Steven Uytengsu and friends offered a fitting tribute for Granger, whom SEI considers as an ambassador for triathlon in the country.

They gave her a cake and showed her a special tribute video.

“I first met Belinda when I joined the Ironman Singapore. After that, we became the closest of friends and was very impressed with her as an athlete. For her, it’s not about winning all the time. It’s about being a good athlete to everyone,” Uytengsu said.

Meanwhile, rain is expected today, which would likely give the 769 participants an extra challenge in the race that offers an Olympic standard distance race course (1.5-kilometer swim, 40k bike and 10k run).

Aside from that, it will also be low tide during race day, meaning participants will have to walk or sprint farther from the shoreline before they can swim.

Seven professional triathletes, mostly Australians, join  lone Filipina pro Monica Torres in the pro division. There will be more than 20 Filipino athletes competing in the Filipino elite division.

The pro division will be composed of Granger, her husband Justin, along with fellow Australians Mitch Robbins, Michael Murphy, Sam Betten, Dimity Lee Duke and Torres.

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TAGS: Australia, Cobra Ironman 70.3, SEI

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