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Ironman 70.3: Eric van der Linden, Chigusa Yamashita overcome odds in Subic


Dutchman Eric van der Linden and Japan’s Chigusa Yamashita battled through choppy waters, strong winds, and wet conditions to come out on top in a stern test of will and the limits of human endurance that began in the rain early on Sunday and ran through near-midnight.

Van der Linden and Yamashita claimed the overall championships in the Century Tuna IRONMAN Philippines in practically the same fashion. They took command early in the swim and built up leads during the bike leg, which cushioned the impact of their wavering finishes in the closing run stage.

The 49-year-old van der Linden from Schagen, North Holland, posted a time of 9:56:20 over the energy-sapping 3.8km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run race. He held off South Africa’s Michael Kramer’s rally to secure the championship. Van der Linden initiated his victory with a 1:01:19 effort in the opening leg in rough waters.

The veteran of the 2000 Sydney Olympics then displayed superb riding skills with a best time of 5:04:21 in the next event. He endured the rigors of the grueling run to win by four minutes, despite finishing the final stage in a drizzling rain with a time of 3:44:03.

Kramer, who clocked 1:01:36 in the swim and 5:22:21 in the bike leg, finished with a time of 3:31:00. However, he fell short of his fightback and ended with a total time of 10:00:45. This race presented one of the more demanding physical experiences that an athlete can choose to put themselves through, with the last participant checking in at 11:53 p.m.

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Richard Hall from Hong Kong secured third place in 10:14:18. Giuseppe Solla of Italy finished fourth with a time of 10:15:32, while Jet Ramos emerged as the top Filipino finisher in fifth place, clocking in at 10:20:34. The event was organized by The IRONMAN Group/Sunrise Events, Inc.

Ironman-70.3-Subic-Chigusa-Yamashita Ironman 70.3: Eric van der Linden, Chigusa Yamashita overcome odds in Subic News Triathlon  - philippine sports news

(C) Century Ironman

On the other hand, Yamashita built an 8-minute lead over her compatriot Ayaka Suzuki with a time of 1:11:41 in the swim. Like van der Linden, she showcased her prowess in the bike leg with a time of 5:55:52 before slowing down in the run, finishing with a time of 4:11:17.

The 34-year-old competitor completed the race with a time of 11:30:02, finishing 14 minutes ahead of Suzuki, who clocked 1:19:26 in the swim and struggled during the bike leg (6:19:22) before making a strong comeback with a division-best time of 3:51:46 in the run.

Victoria Hill from Great Britain secured third place with a time of 11:47:31. Kuboth Rena, also from Japan, placed fourth with a time of 11:55:04, and Alessandra Castaneda matched Ramos’ fifth-place finish with a time of 12:17:46.

Like Subic Bay 70.3 winners John Alcala and Ines Santiago, Ramos and Castaneda each received $1,000 for emerging as the top Filipino finishers, courtesy of Century Pacific Food COO and EVP Greg Banzon. The full-distance winners also led a pack of qualifiers to this year’s World Triathlon Championships.

Van der Linden (M45-49) and Yamashita (F30-34) also topped their respective age group categories, along with Kramer (M30-34),

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