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Germany’s Faris Al-Sultan and Australia’s Belinda Granger are among a handful of athletes who have said they will be racing at either Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka or 5150 Sri Lanka on Feb. 19.
See the complete pre-race press release below:
It’s no secret; Sri Lanka is a jewel of South Asia waiting to be discovered. Romantic island hideaways, a rich culture and a food lover’s paradise, Sri Lanka has it all. But if that isn’t enough there is now another reason to put Sri Lanka on your destination hit list as the countdown is now on for the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka and 5150.
Feb. 19, 2012 marks an historic occasion as the Ironman brand will be breaking new ground with the first 70.3 event in South Asia and the first 5150 in Asia. As the first race on the 70.3 calendar for Asia it’s the perfect opportunity for athletes to awaken from the winter slumber and dip their toes into some warm waters and humid conditions to test the body.
Ironman World Champion Faris Al-Sultan is one pro athlete who will be taking advantage of such a test. Al-Sultan will be participating in the 5150, a name creatively coined from the Olympic distances of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
“I think it is time for Sri Lanka to develop itself as a prime holiday destination and as ambassadors for triathlon, my teammates and I are proud to support a race that brings our tough but wonderful sport to this beautiful island,” said Faris Al-Sultan.
To date, joining the former world champion in the 5150 are Paul Ambrose (AUS), Luke Gillmer (AUS), Freddy Lampret (RSA), Jenny Fletcher (USA) and Rachael Paxton (AUS). A host of Aussie athletes heading to the island and one pro who loves to race in Asia is Belinda Granger. Granger will be lining up for the 70.3. Currently alongside the multi-Ironman champion and 2011 Philippines 70.3 Champion is Kristin Möller and Dana Wagner of Germany, Ironman 70.3 Bussleton champion, Tim Berkel (AUS), Ironman 70.3 Canberra Champion Tim Reed (AUS), Phuket-based Swede Fredrik Croneborg, Justin Granger (AUS) and Patrick Evoe (USA).
“I am incredibly excited about racing the inaugural Sri Lanka 70.3,” said Granger. “What an incredible place for a race. This is a great opportunity to add yet another stunning South Asian country to my long list makes me very happy. What a great way to kick start the 2012 season.”