Wissum and Choo claim 2019 IndoFood IRONMAN 70.3 Bintan Crown
Bintan island basked in a triathlon glow last Sunday as 1100 athletes hit the picture-perfect water for the fifth edition of Indofood IRONMAN 70.3 Bintan.
Denmark’s Jacob Wissum, took a hard-fought victory in 4 hours 18 minutes in the men’s field, and Singapore’s Choo Ling Er, Asia’s leading lady, claimed the women’s title in 4 hours 45 minutes.
Wissum summarized his experience: “It’s unbelievable. I’m very proud to have finished first here. This bike course is much harder than Kona. All the people out on the course were cheering. The volunteers and spectators were amazing.”
Bintan being a race closed to Singapore, it felt like Choo Ling Er’s home race. “I wanted to do well, because a lot of friends and fellow Singaporeans were taking part and cheering me on along the route. Bintan has a challenging and honest bike course that suits me and is good preparation for the IRONMAN World Championships in October. It was also great being treated like a pro.”
The 2019 Indofood IRONMAN 70.3 Bintan was not just about the elite amateurs. 1,100 amateur athletes braved the scenic but challenging course, each with their own story and personal goals, showing the true IRONMAN spirit.
Garth Barfoot, 83 years of age, received a spontaneous ovation when he crossed the finish line and once again when fellow athletes stood up as he entered the recovery area. Other inspirational stories were provided by Imtiaz Ilahi and Ali Al-Moulah. Ilahi was left with several broken vertebras after a parachute accident, but defies medical logic by competing in long distance triathlons. Al Moulah fought back from obesity at 21 years, losing 50kg in 1.5 years by taking up triathlon and finishing IRONMAN 70.3 Bintan.
In a fitting climax to the weekend, 60 athletes walked away with a precious qualifier medal to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand. Their IRONMAN journey continues.
See event details: www.ironmanbintan.com