Brazil Ends Australian Domination of Laguna Phuket Triathlon with New Course Record
Brazil’s 21 year-old Reinaldo Colucci ended the decade-long Australian domination of the Laguna Phuket Triathlon pro men’s championship title and set a course record of 2:30:58.
Since 1997 the event, comprising a 1.8k swim, 55k cycle and 12k run, has been won by Australian triathletes including Greg Bennett, Craig Alexander, Simon Thompson and Greg Welch. This was Colucci’s first time competing in the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, finishing 3.21 minutes ahead of second place winner Terenzo Bozzone from New Zealand.
The grueling race began at the beachfront of Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket at 08:00 am where 825 athletes vied for an early lead in the first leg of the triathlon. The uniquely designed 1.8k swim crossed two bodies of water, firstly through the Andaman Sea followed by a beachside lagoon. First out of the water was pro athlete Leonardo Ballerini from Italy with a swim time of 00:22:25, followed by Thai national team swimmer Arcom Auchitoran representing the Raj Pracha Samasai Foundation team in 00:23:26 and pro female Laura Bennett (USA) in 00:23:55.
First off the 55k bike was Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) in 01:21:57 ahead of Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), who came in a close second in 01:22:27, and Massimo Cigana (ITA) in 01:23:08.
Colucci and Bozzone battled it out during the 12k run until Colucci secured a comfortable lead to win 3.21 minutes ahead of Bozzone and take home USD3,000 in prize money. Terenzo Bozzone claimed second place in 02:33:39, followed by Massimo Cigana, who placed fifth in 2005, in third place with a total time of 02:35:31.
Laguna Phuket defending champion Samantha McGlone (CAN) once again claimed the Pro Women’s championship in 02:48:34, followed by newcomer Leanda Cave (GBR) in 02:50:35 and Laura Bennett (USA) in 02:54:02.
The champion of the Herbalife Corporate Challenge Team Relay was the Raj Pracha Samasai Foundation team comprising Arcom Auchitoran, Saree Reangsiri and Veerachai Sriboonram who won in 02:35:51. Second place went to Jetpon Ampanmanee, Stephan Gratziani and Suvat Paiboon of the Herbalife Liftoff team in 02:50:37, followed by the Phuket Hash House Harriers team, comprising Lee Howard, Kergkong Siriwan and Eakaruk Pantip in 03:03:06.
The fastest Thai finisher was Chadarak Chaikamjorn in 03:01:57 while the first Thai woman to finish was Natcha Pianprasobsuk in 03:45:43.
For complete race results, visit the Laguna Phuket Triathlon website at www.lagunaphukettriathlon.com.