Holly Lawrence claimed a wire-to-wire win in course record time at the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship in Danang, Vietnam this weekend. After exiting the 1.9-kilometer swim in 23:14 with an 89-second lead, the British athlete and 2017 Ironman 70.3 world champion averaged 40 kilometers per hour on the 90-kilometer bike course, riding a 2:12:31 split to increase the margin to over six minutes going into the concluding half-marathon. A run time of 1:25:24 gave her a comfortable win, with an overall time of 4:04:41 marking a new course record.
This is Lawrence’s third consecutive continental title after winning the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain in December and the Ironman 70.3 North America Championship St. George last week.
Bahrain Endurance 13 teammate Terenzo Bozzone was fifth out of the swim and in good position to fight for the title in a field stacked with fellow world champions. Unfortunately, a flat tire at the 60-kilometer mark on the bike course meant a 16th-place finish for the Kiwi.
Also racing in Asia this weekend, Ben Kanute claimed a silver medal with a finish-line sprint at the Chengdu ITU World Cup in China.
This World Cup event is the only one to feature a multi-race, multi-day format, with athletes racing in qualifying heats over the sprint triathlon distance (750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run). The top three from each heat plus the next two fastest athletes overall would form the final field for the next day, racing over a super-sprint distance (400-meter swim, 10-kilometer bike, 2.5-kilometer run).
The American claimed an automatic qualifying spot in his heat, then outran Alexis Lepage of Canada in a photo finish during the final.
He said, “After coming through the automatics yesterday, I just wanted to come back today and give it my all. I love this distance, I love racing stuff like this.
“The swim was super fast and we had a good group working together on the bike that really shared the work which let us create a gap to the main field and on the run I wasn’t sure how my legs would turn up and then ended up being okay. I’m happy with a silver medal on the podium and great support to go along with it.”