Swiss Side pro athlete Michael Raelert is the first athlete in the history of the Laguna Phuket Triathlon who took the win at the legendary race in Thailand three times in a row. On Sunday, the 37-year old two-time defending champion clocked a finish time of 2:19:32 hours to take the win in front of Antony Costes from France, who finished in 2:20:29 hours. The Australian Mitchell Robins rounded out the podium in 2:23:06 hours. "That was a really tough job today," Michael Raelert said after crossing the finish line, "conditions were very hot and I was struggling to keep up my pace until the very end."
Already during the 1.8 kilometers of swimming, Michael Raelert belonged to the lead group. He came out of the water in 22:58 minutes in fourth position and was in a very short distance to first place. "The conditions were not easy today," he said after the race, "it was even hotter than it had been in the days before." On the bike, Michael Raelert early started pushing at the front of the pro field together with last year’s runner-up Antony Costes. He completed the 50-kilometer long course in 1:10:32 hours. He came off the bike as the leader and started onto the final 12-kilometer run course in front of Antony Costes.
After about two thirds of the run, Michael Raelert felt the impact of the enormous heat and had to fight for his third win in a row. "It was anything else but easy," said Michael Raelert after his finish. The Laguna Phuket Triathlon marked the first competition after some weeks without racing, and it was a special challenge due to the hot conditions. "Finally, I'm extremely happy that I have been allowed to celebrate the third success in a row here”, he said, “I hope that I can bring up some more good results in the early future." Michael Raelert would like to add a strong performance one week after taking his third title in Phuket at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Western Sydney, Australia.
Photo: Kevin Mackinnon / TriathlonWorld.com