Terenzo Bozzone smashed out a victory at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship in Manama, Bahrain making it the second time in six days he has taken the top spot in a race. It was only last Sunday when the Kiwi triumphed over the full Ironman distance in Western Australia.
He said, “I won Ironman Western Australia last weekend and felt my body starting to come back the last few days. This was really cool. I haven’t been able to stand on the start line here in Bahrain but was able to make it happen this year.”
Locally-based teammate Eric Watson led the 1.9-kilometer swim leg in 24:58, but Bozzone quickly made up the nine-second gap out of the water on the bike, out-splitting his opponents in a race-best 1:56:48 over the blustery 90-kilometer cycle course.
Aussie Sam Appleton was in hot pursuit just under five minutes behind him off the bike in second place. He said, “It took me a little bit to get started on the bike. Once I did I started to chase down T [Terenzo], but he was riding pretty well.”
Bozzone said, “I just gave it everything on the bike and a few times thought I’d gone a bit hard too early. I managed to hold it together and come off with a good lead. I settled into a pretty good rhythm. I saw [our team captain] Shaikh Nasser [Bin Hamad Al Khalifa] out on the course. Unfortunately he crashed his bike when his bike broke in half with the wind gusts. I really wanted to try and push and try and get the win for him and the team.”
The Kiwi hung onto his lead with a 1:15:16 half-marathon to finish ahead of the hard-charging Steffen Justus of Germany, who overtook Appleton with the day’s fastest run split to end up in a Bahrain Endurance sandwich. David Plese finished in fifth, while Fredrik Croneborg placed ninth.
Swiss Miss Caroline Steffen took third place in the women’s race. After leading out of the water in 28:54 and riding 2:15:58 against a headwind to come into transition in third, she held the position running a sub-85 minute half-marathon past all but two women. She said, “Not everything like went like planned; at the end I finished top three. Pretty happy, it was an awesome race, great course and I’ll be back last year.”
Daniela Ryf, Javier Gomez, and Jan Frodeno participated in a team relay while fellow Bahrain Endurance teammates Jodie and James Cunnama, Brent McMahon, Ben Hoffman and Sara Gross looked on after a week of engagements with the local community to promote healthy living among the youth. The entire team were presented to the King of Bahrain after the race, wrapping up the 2016 season.
We look forward to the team’s continued success in 2017.
(Photo: Delly Carr | Bahrain Endurance Media)