In a thrilling finish, IIT Bombay alumnus Nihal Baig edged out defending Indian Army champion Bisworjit Saikhom to win the second edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Goa, which was announced at Miramar Beach, Panaji by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday.
More than 1,450 participants added to the excitement of the race, which is an Ironman qualifying event. Globalism Championships and participants were required to complete a grueling 1.9km open sea swim, 90km cycling and 21km run.
Baig, who works as an aerospace engineer with MSCI Mumbai, bested Saikhom in the last 7km of the 21km race after falling behind in the open water swimming (1.9km) and 90km of cycling.
He was ecstatic after I finished first overall with an impressive time of 4 hours 29 minutes 45 seconds, Paige said, “Last time I finished second in the first edition of Ironman 70.3 Air, so it’s nice to finish ahead of Saychum this time. My swimming is a bit weak but my running is fast and in the previous version I could cover up to 7 minutes in the run so I knew I could get over it in the run.”
Having completed five half-Ironman races to date, Page has said this is among the most challenging races he has ever competed in. “I think the uphill course and the altitude of the running track makes this race very challenging but I really enjoy the atmosphere here in Goa.”
Meanwhile, Peshwarjit clocked 04:37.21 to take second overall, while 40-year-old Pankaj Deman from Delhi finished in 4:40:41.
“Last time I did the relay event and we won but this time I wanted to take part in the individual race. I will be racing in Tel Aviv in the next 10 days an Ironman for the full distance and I think this race will be good preparation for the full distance. It’s great that we have the opportunity to qualify for the World Championships Here, as I feel we have a better chance here than racing abroad,” Pankaj Daman stated after the race.
Among the women, Switzerland’s Katjen Scherbeck took first place with a time of 05:10:46 while Tim Sharma of India She finished the race in 5:23:21, with Ketaki Sathe (5:46.51) coming in third in the women’s category.
“It was hot, and it was a tough track, especially the run. It was also a bit windy when we got on the bike but overall it was a great race and I’m happy to be the first to finish among the Indian women,” said Tim Sharma, a runner from Bangalore. An experienced marathoner. “My brother, parents and friends are all here to cheer and support me. I would definitely like to see more women take part in the event,” Sharma added.
In the relay, the teams formed by the Indian Air Force as part of the Yuska Azadi ka Amrit Mahutsav initiative took the top three places. TI Adventure clocked a time of 04:29:02 while second place went to T Services (04:32:22) and third place to Team TIAF (04:32:28).
It’s great to have an iron man in India
With more international participants this year, the Ironman 70.3 Goa is the favorite destination for global participants like 51-year-old Pablo Airat from Switzerland who finished sixth overall. He was ahead of the pack at the end of the 90 kilometer bike course.
“The atmosphere in India is great, with very excited people participating. In Europe you can see a lot of grim faces, but here it’s more of a celebration. I love that Ironman is in India now, introducing a racing standard here is great. Irat said after the race.” It is professionally organized and attracts people from all over the world.
Like Pablo, 40-year-old Farai Dalu traveled all the way from Zimbabwe to take part in the race. He finished 9th overall, and although it was a tough track, Dalu is sure to make it back to India again.
He said, “This is my first time coming to India and I really wanted to race in Goa and also enjoy the culture of this place. Sure, the race itself was quite tough with a mountain bike track and wet conditions to run but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m going to Mumbai for a quick ride before I go home.”
Katjen Scherbeck, who finished first among the women, expressed her gratitude to the local community in Goa, who helped her borrow a cycle for the day of the race.
She said, “I only arrived on Friday, and I was too involved. I decided to race here at the last minute but I really wanted to be here. I borrowed my bike from a local here and this local triathlon club helped me a lot. Although the race was tough Really, however, I bring back the best memories.”
1. Nihal Baig (India): 04:29:45
2. Bishworjit Saikhom (India): 04:37:21
3. Pankaj Deman (India): 04:40:41
4. P Ravalu (India): 04:41:36
5. A Kandikuppa (Singapore): 04:42:50
6. Pablo Erat (Switzerland): 04:44:25
7. Marcel King (Belgium): 04:45:23
8. MS Arafat (Bangladesh): 04:52:14
9. Farai Dalo (Zimbabwe): 05:00:46
10. Ujjwal Anand (India): 05:01:39
The top five (women):
1. Katjen Scherbeck (Switzerland): 05:10:46
2. Tim Tim Sharma (India): 05:23:21
3. Ketaki Sathe (India): 05:46:51
4. Srivani YV (India): 06:07:39
5. Su Yin Ong (India): 06:14:23.
Read all files The latest sports news over here