Crack pros spice up Davao field

A record number of 46 countries will be represented when the Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao is flagged off on Sunday, with 18 pros chasing a handsome cash prize and the honor of joining a short list of past winners.

Organizers have also made sure that the course will be up to world standards for the 1.9-kilometer (km) swim, 90-km bike and 21-km run race set before some of Davao’s best backdrops at Azuela Cove.

Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez and Germany’s Markus Rolli won the first two editions of the event from 2018 before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered all of sports in the world and forced this tournament for a hiatus.

“We have set a fantastic race at the same racecourse they have enjoyed while making improvements along the way,” said race director Neville Manaois. “We have maintained a fast but challenging swim, a single loop flat bike layout, and a hot and punishing run course.”

Spearheading the men’s cast in the centerpiece division, the only pro race slated this year, are Portugal’s Filipe Azevedo, Tuan Chun Chang of Taiwan and Aussies Matthew Tonge and Nick Carling, while the seasoned Dimity-Lee Duke and fellow Aussie Sarah Crowley and United Arab Emirates’ Lottie Lucas are fancied to dispute the women’s crown.

Trophies in the 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 65-69 brackets for both divisions will also be up for grabs.

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