Asia Team Captains include Sam Sakai, an IRONMAN U Coach and Japan Community Manager of IRONMAN Asia. Sam is a strong advocate for endurance triathlon in Japan and finisher of multiple races across Asia, including the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Ines Santiago from the Philippines is a mother of 2 and owns a garment manufacturing and retail company that specializes in hand-smocking and hand embroidery. She is a multiple podium finisher at IRONMAN 70.3 races in Asia. Representing Australia, Melissa Urie, a mental health nurse from Melbourne, Australia, who is an accomplished competitor in Ultra Triathlon, IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events. She is also a mental health nurse and is an avid triathlete who has competed in several multisport events in Australia. These captains are tasked with forming a duo or trio of athletes to join them each week for the competition scoring.
This week’s athletes include:
Team Sam Sakai
- Genjiro-Gen Wakayama is a 4-time IRONMAN World Championship finisher and a 2-time IRONMAN 70.3 Japan podium finisher.
- Kazuki-Kazu Kubono the fastest Japanese athlete in the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship.
- Emi Sakai, Sam’s wife, is a 7-time finisher at IRONMAN World Championship as a professional triathlete. She is now retired and continues to train together with Sam.
Team Ines Santiago
- Ani De Leon Brown, also known as Coach Ani amongst the triathletes in the Philippines is a 46-year-old mother of two and is the coach of the National Triathlon Team and the Race Director of IRONKIDS Philippines. Not only is she a multiple-time of IRONMAN finisher across the Asia Pacific region, but Ani is the first-ever Filipina to have qualified for the IRONMAN World Championship in 2008 and has also led the biggest female represented contingent as well.
- Jael Wenceslao is an avid runner and has multiple Abbott World Marathon Major races across his portfolio of achievements. The 40-year-old is also an accomplished ultramarathoner who holds a personal best of completing a marathon in 3:01 hours.
Team Melissa Urie
- Ruth Bloom, a multi-time IRONMAN finisher and an ambassador athlete for IRONMUMs, a community supporting mothers who participate in IRONMAN events, will take on both the run and bike this week.
Friday, May 21
• 7:00 a.m. GMT+8 / 9:00 a.m. AEST (7:00 p.m. ET) – Asia Pacific Week 3: Half distance duathlon