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2,160 International and Local Duathletes Compete at Asia’s Biggest Duathlon
Malakoff Corporation Berhad (Malakoff) today registered a record participation of 2,160 duathletes and awarded whopping cash prizes worth RM122,400 to 133 winners in 18 categories at the Malakoff Powerman Asian Championships.
The Championships saw an intense battle among elite duathletes vying for their coveted spots in the ITU Zofingen Duathlon World Championships 2014 in Switzerland. The event, which has been sponsored by Malakoff for 12 consecutive years, is Asia’s only qualifier to the World Championships. Datuk Seri G.Palanivel, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment presided over the award ceremony while his deputy, Dato’ Dr. James Dawos Mamit, graced the flagging off ceremony.
Speaking at the event, Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Syed Abdul Jabbar bin Syed Hassan, the Chairman of Malakoff said, “We, at Malakoff, are proud to be part of the prestigious Powerman Championships’ remarkable growth. Today the event is the largest participatory duathlon tournament in Asia. The Championships has successfully reinforced Malaysia’s position as the region’s hub for international duathlons.”
“I also wish to congratulate the outstanding performance by the duathletes at today’s race as it will surely inspire other athletes to pursue and achieve their sporting goals,” he added.
A total of 1,007 racers from over 33 countries participated in the Powerman Elite and Individual Long Distance Category, taking on the gruelling challenge of an 11km run, followed by a 64km cycle and finishing with another leg of 11km run. 317 athletes competed together with their friends and family in the Team Relay Category.
Meanwhile, the event has also successfully attracted the interest of amateur and first time racers particularly among Malaysians, with over 836 competing in the Sprint Category. The Sprint Category involved a shorter race course by half of the aforementioned distance.
Switzerland’s Andy Sutz produced a magnificent performance to blitz his rivals and win the Men’s Elite Category in an impressive time record of 2:52:40.81. “The race was tough for me as I was up against a strong field of competitors all equally hungry for the title. Moreover, the weather was mercilessly humid but I am glad with my achievement today and I hope to maintain my performance in Zofingen next year!” said Sutz, who will be competing in the World Championships for the fifth time.
Six-time champion Radka Vodickova from Czech Republic, was also ecstatic over her win as she defended her title in the Women’s Elite Category, finishing in 3:17:18.78. She said, “I am very happy to have won as I felt the race was tougher this year because of the sweltering heat. However, I just stayed focus on the track and I am glad that my months of strict training has paid off.”
National duathlete, Shahrom Abdullah did the country proud by being one of the few Malaysians to earn a spot at the World Championships for the seventh time, “I was really fired up to perform well and I am glad to have been able to surpass my own goals. I hope to make the country proud next year in the upcoming World Championships 2014.”
Setting a first in comparison to the previous races, the Malakoff Powerman Asian Championships 2013 marked the finale of the Malaysia Environment Week organised by the Department of Environment, concluding the week-long awareness campaign on a high note.
Speaking about the collaboration with the Department of Environment, Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Syed Abdul Jabbar said, “We are pleased to support the Department of Environment’s objective to encourage Malaysians to adopt low carbon footprint activities including running and cycling as alternative means of commuting well beyond the race track.”
“Not only are these activities healthy, they are also environmentally friendly as they produce zero carbon emissions. As such, I urge Malaysians to support our efforts in encouraging your family and friends to indulge in these ‘low carbon footprint’ activities as well,” he said.
For more information about the Malakoff Asian Powerman Championships 2013 and race results, please visit www.powerman.com.my.