Australian Defending Champion to Challenge Olympic Gold Medallist at this year's Laguna Phuket Triathlon
This year’s Laguna Phuket Triathlon boasts a strong line up of elite professional athletes, including Australian defending title champions, Belinda Granger and Richie Cunningham. This year’ event scheduled for 6 December promises some exciting race action.
The 2007 Laguna Phuket Triathlon men’s champion, Italian born Massimo Cigana, who came second place last year and has recently won the 2009 Long Distance Triathlon in Alpe d'Huez is confirmed to return for this years renowned ‘Race of Legends’ to reclaim his title from 2007.
Cigana will be challenging the defending champ Richie Cunningham for a share of the USD 20,000 pro prize purse and to add an ingredient of excitement to this year’s race, Jan Frodeno, Germany’s Olympic gold medallist will be giving them both a run for their money.
Vying for the Laguna Phuket women’s crown will be ever dynamic Aussie Belinda Granger, who despite surgery on her iliac artery earlier in the year has recovered extraordinarily and triumphantly came second place in the 2009 Ironman Canada and first place in this year’s Honolulu 70.3. Granger had an amazing year back in 2008 with three Ironman titles in Canada, China and Malaysia and winning the Laguna Phuket Triathlon.
“Phuket is simply an amazing place and I love returning to the Laguna Phuket Triathlon - it is my favourite race of the year. The people of Phuket are the most welcoming and warm people. The race just seems to get bigger and better every year and I am very excited to be returning for the seventh year to participate in this truly fantastic event and to defend my title" commented Belinda recently on her decision to return to Laguna Phuket again.
Belinda will battle against fellow women pro athletes and newcomers to the Laguna race, Canadian Tereza Macel and Spaniard Virginia Berasategui. This will not be the first time that Macel and Granger will be head to head in competition; Macel won the women’s title at the 2009 Ironman Canada with Granger finishing in second place.
Apart from a tremendously exciting pro race, race organisers also anticipate one of the largest fields ever at the 2009 Laguna Phuket Triathlon as this year is the fifth consecutive year that entries to the individual race have completely sold-out, with 900 individuals, 50 relay teams (150 competitors), and an expected 300 people to take part in the 6k Fun Run.
There will also be a fun addition to the weekend’s sporting event for youngsters - a Kid’s Splash ‘n’ Dash which will be held on Saturday 5 December at 8am and has capacity for 50 young people to participate.
Now in its sixteenth year, the Laguna Phuket Triathlon is cosponsored by Thai Airways International and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The Laguna Phuket Triathlon boasts possibly more world champions racing in past fields than any other race in the world short of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. For further information on the Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2009 and to register for the Fun Run and Kid’s Spash ‘n’ Dash please visit www.lagunaphukettriathlon.com.
Laguna Phuket is Asia’s finest destination resort – a collection of deluxe hotels and villas including Banyan Tree Phuket, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Laguna Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort & Villas, Best Western Allamanda Laguna Phuket, and Laguna Holiday Club Resort - all sharing 1,000 acres of tropical parkland and three kilometres of beach frontage with Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Canal Shopping Village, Banyan Tree Spa, four Angsana Spas, Laguna Wedding Chapel, the Quest team building facility, and Latitude, a unique stand-alone function venue.