On a hot and humid but relatively cooler day on the island of Langkawi, Faris Al-Sultan and Belinda Granger take the win at the 5th running of Ironman Malaysia. Belinda and Faris took control of the race on the bike, Faris pretty much never looked back all day and Granger had to kick it up a notch in the last 15km of the run to win. Granger ends up breaking the course record set by Nicole Leder last year by more 12 minutes with a time of 9:29:21.
Al-Sultan eventually built up a commanding 20 minute lead on the bike and pulled ahead on the run by adding another 10 minute to the lead to take the win. It's has to feel good for Al-Sultan who had a disappointing end to his 2007 Ironman season when he had to pull out of the Ironman World Championship race in Hawaii.
“I did not come here to finish eighth, but to win the race. The glory days of being a world champion may be long gone and I had a bad season last year. Therefore, I need to get good results soon to get back on track,” said Faris yesterday. (The Star (thestar.com.my), Friday February 22, 2008, Germany’s Faris confident of winning start to season)
Belinda did as Faris and pulled ahead as much as she could on the bike eventually building up a 10 minute gap on Yvonne Van Vlerken who was behind her. Van Vlerken didn't give up and closed the gap by T2 and then slowly gained on Granger on the run eventually cutting her lead down to 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
The real action today on Langkawi was for those racing for 2nd through 5th place as those positions changed all day in both the men's and women's race.
2008 Ironman Malaysia Results:
|1 - Belinda Granger||9:29:21||1 - Faris Al-Sultan||8:34:42|
|2 - Yvonne van Vlerken||9:35:46||2 - Petr Vabrousek||9:04:54|
|3 - Yasuko Miyazaki||10:14:01||3 - Elmar Schuberth||9:06:03|
|4 - Hillary Biscay||10:18:11||4 - Mathieu O'Halloran||9:10:44|
|5 - Ute Streiter||10:50:30||5 - Luke Dragstra||9:17:49|
- Additional coverage from Ironman Malaysia can be found on Ironman.com website (link).