New Zealanders Amelia Watkinson and Mike Phillips took the overall titles at Ironman 70.3 Bintan. Bintan Island is part of Indonesia's Riau Archipelago, and is a short boat ride from the city of Singapore.
Watkinson took her second straight Bintan 70.3 title by a 12:19 margin of victory over Anna Eberhardt of Hungary and 20:52 over defending champion and 3rd-place finisher Kate Bevilaqua of Australia. Watkinson’s victory comes after a podium at Mallorca 70.3 and a win at Philippines 70.3 this year.
Phillips won wire-to-wire by a 2:40 margin of victory over Domenico Passuello of Italy and 7:17 over defending champion and 3rd place finisher Fredrik Croneborg of Sweden. The victory was Phillips’ first 70.3 win after taking second places in 2015 at Bintan 70.3 and Port Macquairie 70.3, 2nd at the 2016 Taupo half Ironman, and 3rd at 2017 Vietnam 70.3.
Laura Dennis of Australia led the swim in the South China Sea in 26:23, which gave her a 5 seconds lead on Watkinson, 2:08 on Bevilaqua, and 3:01 on Jacqueline Thistleton of Australia.
By 22km of the bike leg, Watkinson sped to a 2 minutes lead on Dennis, 5:16 on Bevilaqua, 6 minutes on Thistleton, and 6:33 on Anna Eberhardt of Hungary. After 78km, Watkinson smashed the women's race open with a 7:23 lead on Dennis. After a women’s-best 2:22:04 bike split, Watkinson led Dennis (2:30:42 bike split) by 8:31, Eberhardt (2:25:09 split) by 9:33, and Bevilaqua by 12:56.
By 12km into the run, Watkinson opened her lead to 10:17 on Eberhardt, 15:26 on Bevilaqua and even more on Dennis. After a women’s-fastest 1:29:24 run, Watkinson finished in 4:20:55 with a 12:19 margin over Eberhardt (1:31:59 run) and 20:52 over Bevilaqua (1:36:55 run).
Phillips led the swim in 23:49, which gave him a 4 seconds lead on Alexander Polizzi of Australia, 1:37 on David Mainwaring of Australia, 1:39 on Guy Crawford of New Zealand, 2:07 on defending champion Fredrik Croneborg of Sweden, and 2:21 on Domenico Passuello of Italy.
Phillips maintained a 50 seconds lead over Passuello at 22km of the bike leg, 1:15 on Polizzi, and 1:40 on a pack of three including Mainwaring, Croneborg and Crawford. After a race-best 2:06:35 bike split, Phillips held a 3:13 lead on Passuello (2:07:23 bike split), 5:48 on Croneborg, 5:48 on Crawford, and 6:06 on Polizzi.
After 13.1km of the run, Phillips led Passuello by 4:21, Croneborg by 7:12 and Crawford by 10:58. After a 3rd-best 1:21:45 half marathon, Phillips finished in 3:54:38 with a 2:41 margin of victory on Passuello (2nd-fastest 1:20:53 run) and 7:18 on 3rd place Croneborg (1:23:08 run).
Men’s 40-44 age grouper Oliver Godart of Luxembourg closed fast with a race-best 1:16:55 half marathon to take 4th place overall, 45 seconds behind Croneborg.
Ironman 70.3 Bintan
August 20, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Amelia Watkinson (NZL) 4:20:55
2. Anna Eberhardt (HUN) 4:33:14
3. Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 4:41:47
4. Laura Dennis (AUS) 4:47:21
5. Karen Toulmin (NZL) 5:11:43
1. Mike Phillips (NZL) 3:54:39
2. Domenico Passuello (ITA) 3:57:19
3. Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 4:01:56
4. Oliver Godart (LUX) 4:02:41 *M40-44
5. Guy Crawford (NZL) 4:09:25