$30,000 winners cheques for Cameron Brown and Gina Crawford at Metaman Bintan

New Zealand’s professional triathletes dominated the 2014 MetaMan Bintan triathlon on Sunday with Cameron Brown and Gina Crawford taking top positions in the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.

In the races, in which participants had to tackle a 3.8-kilometer swim, 180-km ride and 42.2-km run in the MetaMan Full category, Brown clocked the best time of 8 hours, 28 minutes and 21 seconds to push defending champion Courtney Ogden of Australia to second place.

Ogden recorded a time of 8:32:03 while Fredrik Croneborg of Sweden emulated last year’s performance by finishing third at 8:35:04.

Despite failing to defend the title, Ogden did not let himself down, having been aware of the potential threat posed by his rival.

“I’m satisfied. Cameron Brown is a good athlete. I’m not too disappointed to have lost to him,” Ogden said.

He said running was the most challenging part in the competition, “because you already have fatigue in the legs from the ride.”

Leg fatigue apparently took a toll him as he, after holding on to the lead in the swim and fighting closely on the bike saddle, was forced to let Brown take over halfway to the finish.

“I kept pace [with Brown] only up to half of the distance,” Ogden said.

The women’s category of the competition saw Crawford improve her position from second to last to first place this year.

Her clock-in time of 9:17:15 was some four minutes ahead of runner-up Diana Riesler of Germany with Michelle Gailey of Australia in a distant third with a time of 9:58:25

Like Brown, Crawford’s victory weighed largely on her unmatched acceleration in the run.

“It’s really tough. Diana is a great rider and swimmer,” Crawford said.

In the MetaMan Half race, with a distance covered half that of the MetaMan Full, Indonesian hopeful Andy Wibowo had to settle with sixth place in the overall standings, which included female competitors.

He was third in the male division, but his time of 4:47:51 was still below that registered by women’s champion Kira Flanagan (4:41:42), women’s runner-up Monica Torres of the Philippines (4:44:51), men’s runner-up Martin Dolinschek of Australia (4:46:48) and women’s third finisher Lisa Luckin (4:47:28).

Matthew Ledgar, also from Australia, won the races with a time of 4:40:38.

Known as the country’s best swimmer, Andi duly pulled out from the pack. He accelerated the pace and, turning around the loop, he was several meters further ahead.

Running out from shore in first place to the changing tent inside the transition area, he took off his swimsuit, put on a helmet and shoes before picking up his bike and pedaling away.

However, fatigue caught up with him during the ride.

“I suffered from leg fatigue in the 50km ride. I lost a lot of time because I was trying to loosen up my muscles,” he said.

He said he was looking forward to coming back next year with the hope of winning the competition.

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