Slovenia’s David Plese, representing Team Bahrain, won the first half iron distance race of the Dubai International Triathlon on Friday.
More than 1,100 professional and amateur athletes took the plunge off the Atlantis The Palm, with Plese completing the challenge in a time of three hours 58 minutes 18 seconds. Deirdre Casey from Ireland finished first in the elite women’s category.
Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is making final preparations for the inaugural Challenge Bahrain race, finished the Dubai event in a time of four hours 43 minutes 12 seconds.
Finished 4th in the Dubai International Triathlon 70.3.. Was an amazing day!! The best part was when my kids were… pic.twitter.com/rRJJtOmndG
— ناصر بن حمد FAN (@HRH_Nasser) November 7, 2014
The event featured a 1.9 kilometre swim, a fast 90 kilometre bike ride and a relatively flat 20 kilometre run along the crescent of The Palm.
The race was organised by Race ME, endorsed by the Dubai Sports Council and supported by the Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Police.
The sold-out challenge saw competitors representing 63 nations, with athletes aged 18 to 66 years participating in the race.
Women’s winner Casey (4 hours 34 minutes 47 seconds) said: “The course was great. The sea was really salty which helps with buoyancy and the bike [section] was actually very technical.
“I had a good lead at the 5 kilometre turn on the run, which gave me a boost.”
Men’s winner Plese added: “I love racing in the warm weather so the course suited me and I am really looking forward to Challenge Bahrain next month.”
My first win for Bahrain pic.twitter.com/k2mATRNmoT
— David Plese (@Davidplese) November 7, 2014
Race ME director Christian Berglehner, expressing his happiness with the outcome of the inaugural event, said: “It was a big success in terms of participation and the results show that this race is not only happening in a prestigious location but also attracts top level competitors.
DSC board member Saeed Hareb added: “The Dubai Sports Council is excited to be a part of the first edition of the Dubai International Triathlon.
“We strive to ensure that participants have a healthy and safe environment as well as high standards of event management.
“We hope to make this an annual event in the Dubai sports calendar and hope to attract many more athletes in the future.”
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