Eimear Mullan of Ireland earned a comeback win after a long dry spell due to injury and Sam Betten of Australia edged Justin Metzler of the U.S. to win Ironman 70.3 Xiamen.
Mullan prevailed by 6 seconds after a race-long, head-to–head duel with Immogen Simmonds of Switzerland. After leading the swim and bike legs, Haley Chura finished 3:15 back of Mullan in 3rd place.
Betten and Justin Metzler of the U.S. dueled head-to-head through the swim and bike legs before Betten sprinted away in the final 200 meters with a race-best 1:18:47 half marathon to finish in 3:53:30 with a 15 seconds margin over Metzler and 1:31 over 3rd-place Jonathan Shearon of the U.S.
Swim star Haley Chura of the U.S. led the swim with a 20:45 split that gave her a 90 seconds lead on Mullan, Simmonds, and Sarah Cameto of the U.S.
Following a women’s 4th-best 2:21:45 bike split, Chura led the field into T2 by 13 seconds over Simmonds and 20 seconds over Mullan.
After a slow transition, Chura lost 50 seconds to Simmonds who was first out on the run, and who was followed closely by Mullan. After a women’s-best 1:20:03 run, Mullan finished in 4:09:55 with a 6 seconds margin on Simmonds (1:20:15 run) and 3:15 on Chura (1:22:32 run).
Rudolf Naude of South Africa led the swim with a 19:41 split, 4 to 6 seconds ahead of a tight pack including Hao Miao from China, top seed Sam Betten of Australia, Justin Metzler of the U.S., JZ Hang of China, Filipe Azevedo of Portugal and Mitch Robins of Australia. Jonathan Shearon of the U.S. trailed the leaders by 1:20.
After a race-best 2:58 first transition, Metzler led Betten by 3 seconds, and Shearon, a top cyclist, by 1:56.
After a 2nd-fastest 2:08:52 bike split, Metzler led the field into T2 by 5 seconds over Shearon, who made up tons of ground with a race-best 2:07:01 bike split. After a 3rd-best 2:08:55 bike split, Betten arrived at T2 6 seconds behind Metzler.
After a by-far race-best 2:45 second transition, Metzler began the run with a 26 seconds lead on Betten (3:05 second transition) and 46 seconds ahead of Shearon (3:26 transition).
Betten and Metzler quickly passed Shearon and Betten accelerated to join Metzler at the front. The leading duo raced side by side until the final 200 meters where Betten sprinted to victory. Betten closed the door on Metzler with a race-best 1:18:47 half marathon which brought him to the finish in 3:53:30 with a 15 seconds margin over Metzler (1:19:27 run) and 1:31 over 3rd place Shearon (1:19:57 run split).
Article updated after results and splits of leading men were corrected
Ironman 70.3 Xiamen
Xiamen, Fujian Province, China
November 12, 2017
S 1.2mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Eimear Mullan (IRL) 4:09:55 S 22:27 B 2:20:23 R 1:20:03
2. Imogen Simmonds (SUI) 4:10:01 S 22:23 B 2:20:20 R 1:20:15
3. Haley Chura (USA) 4:13:10 S 20:45 B 2:21:45 R 1:22:32
4. Sarah Cameto (USA) 4:24:13 S 22:26 B 2:20:09 R 1:34:08
5. Monica Juhart (AUS ) 4:28:21 S 23:34 B 2:22:07 R 1:34:20
1. Sam Betten (AUS) 3:49:18 S 19:45 B 2:08:55 R 1:14:34
2. Justin Metzler (USA) 3:53:45 S 19:45 B 2:08:52 R 1:19:27
3. Jonathan Shearon (USA) 3:55:01 S 21:22 B 2:07:01 R 1:19:57
4. Jiang Zhi Hang (CHN) 3:56:49 S 19:46 B 2:10:08 R 1:20:02
5. Filipe Azevedo (UAE) 3:58:44 S 19:47 B 2:10:51 R 1:21:30