Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Duathlon: World class field to compete

MALAYSIA’S Shahrom Abdullah, Mariana Mohamad and Kimbeley Yap will be up against a world class field in the Malakoff Powerman Malaysia 2007.

The event, to be held on Nov 11 in Seri Manjung, Perak, will see more than 560 participants, including over 200 duathletes from abroad.

The run-bike-run multi-sport event consists of a 11km run-64km bike-10km run, and offers a prize purse of RM132,000.

As duathlon will make its debut in the Korat SEA Games, duathletes from Southeast Asia will use Malakoff Powerman Malaysia 2007 to gauge their performance prior to the games.

Shahrom Abdullah, the sport’s local strongman of many years, is gearing up to contend with a field that includes International Triathlon Union Duathlon World Champion Joerie Vansteelant of Belgium, and the Philippines’ top duathlete, Ryan Mendoza.

Shahrom and Ryan are expected to slug it out for Southeast Asian supremacy, barring surprises from less fancied competitors.

“I will be training in Kuantan to get away from the constant questions on what are my medal prospects for the Sea Games. The right frame of mind is as important to winning as physical training,” Shahrom said.

World champion Joerie Vansteelant said the race route is fast, but the heat, humidity and fierce competition would be a big challenge.

Mariana Mohamad, Malaysia’s top ranked female duathlete, will be representing the country at the Sea Games with Stephanie Chok.

The 29-year-old mother of two, finished fifth in last year’s Malakoff Powerman Malaysia race and will be aiming to better her finish against an even stronger international field.

Mariana’s brother, Heidilee Mohamad, will also be part of the Sea Games squad but will be sitting out the Malakoff Powerman Malaysia due to injury.

Kimbeley Yap, triathlon gold medallist at the last Sea Games, will be competing as preparation for the Korat event.

“Although there is no swimming leg, the Powerman duathlon will be an excellent race for me to raise my running and biking speed. I need strong competition to go faster,” the final-year student at the Bukit Jalil Sports Academy said.

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