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The sun was shining brightly at 7am and the participants expected a hot and humid race that day, as if it was fated that every year, Powerman Malaysia would fall on the hottest day in the rainy season.
Last Sunday, Malakoff Corporation Berhad (Malakoff), flagged off the much anticipated Powerman Malaysia 2011 which drew a record of 1035 professional duathletes from 28 countries. The international duathlon was held at Majlis Perbandaran Manjung’s Mini Sports Complex and awarded cash prizes worth RM 132,000 in the 18 categories of the race.
Being held for the tenth consecutive time in the country, Powerman Malaysia is a multi sport run-bike-run event and is an integral part of the International Powerman Series. The event has been a roaring success given that Powerman Malaysia is the only Asian qualifier for the annual Powerman World Championships in Zofingen, Switzerland.
At the event, Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali, the Chairman of Malakoff said, “We are pleased to note that Powerman Malaysia has definitely grown steadily over the years both in terms of the number of duathletes as well as the participating countries. Powerman Malaysia has now become synonymous with the sporting initiatives of our flagship CSR programme – the Malakoff Community Partnerships.”
“Malakoff has been the main sponsor of Powerman Malaysia for the last decade. This is certainly in line with Malakoff’s objectives to promote community sporting and bring together people of various background and nationalities together in the spirit of competition and camaraderie,” he added.
Powerman Malaysia has seen a steady increase in the number of athletes from various nationalities. The inaugural race in 2002 recorded participation from 237 racers, but has since swelled over the years. Last year, an impressive 950 participants from 30 countries raced neck to neck to win top spots in the race.
Powerman Malaysia 2011 comprises Individual Long Distance, Malakoff Power Relay and Malakoff Sprint Duathlon. The Individual Long Distance race comprises fourteen categories : Men’s Elite (20 & above), Women's Elite (20 & above), Men's 20 – 29, Women's 20 – 29, Men's 30 – 39, Women's 30 – 39, Men's 40 – 44, Women's 40 – 44, Men's 45 – 49, Women's 45 – 49, Men's 50 – 59, Women's 50 – 59, Men's 60 & above and Women's 60 & above.
The Malakoff Power Relay consists of two sub categories namely, Men’s Relay and Mixed Relay while the Malakoff Sprint Duathlon consists of Sprint Men’s and Sprint Women’s sub-categories.
The Men’s Elite winner, Rob Woestenborghs was ecstatic at his win, finishing in 2 hours 40 minutes and 15 seconds, given the tough challenge from the various world-class competitors participating in the event. The 35 year old, Belgian proudly said, “I am delighted to be the winner! With so many top competitors, I knew that this race was a tough one. Nevertheless, my hard work, dedication and months of strict training schedule have paid off.”
Meanwhile, for the Women’s Elite category, Radka Vodickova was crowned the winner for the third consecutive time, with an impressive timing of 3 hours 3 minutes and 44 seconds. The 27 year old from the Czech Republic has participated in duathlons for the last 10 years. The seasoned runner said, “Given the humid weather and tough race course, I was surprised at my performance, having clocked in at three hours and three minutes. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the race, and will definitely look forward to next year’s race.”
Powerman Malaysia also featured our very own Muhammad Amirul Hafiz bin Aman who trained hard for the last six months and appeared satisfied with his race performance. Savouring success on a hot and sunny day, the 22 year old from Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) responded, “The race was a challenge, given the demanding terrains and top-notch competitors. Doing well in this race has increased my overall confidence. Hearing words of support from my fellow Malaysians while racing was an extra push for me to excel in this race. Looking forward, I am determined to do better for my own personal achievement as well as for the country.”
Halim explained that for the last decade, Malakoff has been the title sponsor of Powerman Malaysia in partnership with the State Government of Perak and Majlis Perbandaran Manjung.
Moreover, with participants coming in from countries such Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Liechtenstein, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA, Malakoff’s efforts to help position Manjung as a tourist destination to international visitors is bearing fruits steadily.
To obtain the full results of the race visit the site dedicated to Malakoff’s Powerman Malaysia at http://www.powerman.com.my.