MANA Sports and Entertainment Group athlete Kat Matthews has kicked off her 2022 racing season with a win at Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote. After riding into the lead on the toughest bike course on the circuit, the British athlete then broke the tape with a three-minute lead over reigning Ironman world champion Anne Haug, showing she is in fine form with only seven weeks until the Ironman World Championship in St. George.
Matthews said, “Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote showed excellent comparisons to St. George, constantly challenging with ascending and descending on both bike and run. I was happy to be just three minutes behind the front out of the water with gold standard swimmers in the race; this set me up well to really race the bike… Overall I’m of course extremely pleased to beat such incredible athletes on the day. Lanzarote has shown me that I can perform at the front and race all three disciplines.
“At the last Ironman World Championships I stood on the sidelines having never raced an Ironman. Now I can go into this World Champs with the confidence I have the ability to win.”
Maya Kingma took top honours and set a new course record at the Alfa Laval Stevensloop 10km run at home in the Netherlands. The Dutch athlete currently ranked 9th in the world crossed the finish line 10th among all competitors male and female. She is set to kick off racing the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series on May 15 in Yokohama.
“Running a 32:39 was way above my expectations,” said Kingma. “To be more precise it was a minute faster than I imagined in the best-case scenario. I started out fast, but it felt comfortable so I tried to stick with the pace and, well, I succeeded.”
Henri Schoeman has signed on with Asics for another three years, ensuring the Rio Olympic bronze and Commonwealth Games gold medalist from South Africa is well-supported throughout the next Olympic cycle as well as in his World Triathlon and Ironman racing endeavors. He says, “I’ve been a part of the brand for most of my professional career and I believe the technology and products are the best for me, triathlon and running. Some exciting things to come.”
MANA is also proud to announce that Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Keegan Palmer has signed onto the Pho3nix Team as ambassador. MANA has been tasked by the sport nonprofit Pho3nix Foundation to identify athletes who embody its ideals of rising through challenge to inspire the next generation to chase their dreams; the park skateboarding prodigy is the latest to join the elite squad.
At age nine he became the Australian Open Bowl champion; nine years later he won the first ever Olympic gold medal for skateboarding. And now he wants to give back. “I’m really hyped to join the Pho3nix Team because of their grassroot goals to get kids involved in sports,” Palmer says. “I think personally with sports, anything is possible.”