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Henning, Butterfield Triumph at Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

abu dhabi 2012 winnersRasmus Henning and Nikki Butterfield were crowned champions of the third annual Abu Dhabi International Triathlon today in the United Arab Emirates. Both triathletes pick up a $50,000(USD) first place check with the victories in the dessert.

It was "Third Time's the Charm" for Henning as he runs down local favorite Faris Al-Sultan in the last 2km of the run while managing to stay ahead of a charging Eneko Llanos for the victory. He finishes the day in 6:21:44, just 27 seconds ahead of Faris for the win and a new course record. In his debut, Henning finished 3rd in 2010 with a DNF out of the swim in 2011. It was a fast day in Abu Dhabi as the Top 10 male finishers all beat the existing course record!

In her Abu Dhabi International Triathlon debut, Butterfield showed why she was one of the favorites, flying on the bike and then on the run while staying ahead of the other contenders Angela Naeth, Caroline Steffen and Melissa Rollison. She maintained her lead on the run and finished the day with a strong two minute, thirty nine second advantage over second place Naeth who finished in 5th place last year. Her 7:00:22 time was also good enough for a new course record.

2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon Results:
March 3, 2012 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Rasmus Henning (DEN) 6:21:44*
Nikki Butterfield (AUS) 7:00:22*
Faris Al-Sultan (UAE) 6:22:11
Angela Naeth (CAN) 7:03:00
Eneko Llanos (ESP) 6:22:42
Caroline Steffen (SUI) 7:04:29
Andreas Boecherer (GER) 6:24:38
Melissa Rollison (AUS) 7:05:00
Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 6:25:12
Rachel Joyce (GBR) 7:06:25
Dirk Bockel (LUX) 6:27:11
Jodie Swallow (GBR) 7:10:29
Luke Bell (AUS) 6:28:16
Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) 7:19:35
Paul Ambrose (AUS) 6:31:15
Eva Nystrom (SWE) 7:26:24
Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 6:31:53
Christie Sym (AUS) 7:27:10
Clayton Fettell (AUS) 6:32:21
Diana Riesler (GER) 7:27:46
* = New Course Record    

Leanda Cave, who finished 3rd at 2011 Ironman World Championship and 6th in Adu Dhabi last year, was one of the women's favorites as well but she did not start the race, it was noted that she was not feeling well.

Photo Credit: Paul Phillips / Competitive Image