McKenzie Looks To Defend, Blatchford Withdraws In Cairns

This year there will be a bit of added pressure—and competition—with the race serving as the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship for the first time.

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Australian Luke McKenzie will look to defend his Ironman Cairns title this Sunday, but this year there will be a bit of added pressure—and competition—with the race serving as the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship for the first time. On the women’s side, the race will see a new winner with three-time champion Liz Blatchford (AUS) being forced to withdraw this week due to injury. In addition to the prestige of earning a championship titles, athletes will be competing for their share of a $150,000 prize purse and automatic qualification for the Ironman World Championship (which will go to each winner).

McKenzie, who also won this race in 2013, will face off against 2014 race winner (and Ironman legend) Cameron Brown of New Zealand, 2012 race winner (and current course record holder) David Dellow of Australia, Timothy Van Berkel of Australia and Romain Guillaume of France. There are several top names on the start list who are looking for a big-time win after recent disappointing performances and/or injuries, including 2012 Ironman world champion Pete Jacobs (AUS), Luke Bell (AUS), Matt Hanson (USA), Jordan Rapp (USA) and Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS).

With Blatchford on the sidelines, Great Britian’s Jodie Swallow will be considered the favorite to take the title. She suffered a broken elbow in a bike crash at April’s Ironman African Championship and will be looking to get back to the top of the podium. This will also be a big comeback race for American Linsey Corbin, who hasn’t competed in an Ironman since finishing 12th at the 2014 Ironman World Championship. Other names to watch include Michelle Bremer (NZL), Rebekah Keat (AUS), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Kate Bevilaqua (AUS).

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2016 Ironman Cairns Asia Pacific Championship Professional Start List

1 Luke McKenzie (AUS)
2 Cameron Brown (NZL)
3 Timothy Van Berkel (AUS)
4 David Dellow (AUS)
5 Romain Guillaume (FRA)
6 Matt Hanson (USA)
7 Jordan Rapp (USA)
8 Clayton Fettell (AUS)
9 Pete Jacobs (AUS)
10 Luke Bell (AUS)
11 Simon Billeau (FRA)
12 Johan Borg (AUS)
13 Matt Burton (AUS)
14 Will Clarke (GBR)
15 Simon Cochrane (NZL)
16 Guy Grawford (NZL)
17 Fredrik Croneborg (SWE)
18 Michael Davidson (RSA)
19 Tim Don (GBR)
20 Adam Gordon (AUS)
21 Tim Green (AUS)
22 Jarmo Hast (FIN)
23 Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
24 Felipe Manente (BRA)
25 Dan McGuigan (AUS)
26 Casey Munro (AUS)
27 Samuel Murphy (AUS)
28 Ryan Plazzi (AUS)
29 Matthew Pellow (AUS)
30 Jens Petersen-Bach (DEN)
31 Matt Randall (NZL)
32 Michael Ruenz (GER)
33 Todd Skipworth (AUS)
34 Leigh Stabryla (AUS)
35 Cameron Wurf (AUS)

41 Liz Blatchford (AUS)
42 Jodie Swallow (GBR)
42 Linsey Corbin (USA)
44 Michelle Bremer (NZL)
45 Rebekah Keat (AUS)
46 Sarah Crowley (AUS)
47 Kate Bevilaqua (AUS)
48 Melanie Burke (NZL)
49 Ali Fitch (AUS)
50 Kristy Jahn (CAN)
51 Kym Coogan (AUS)
52 Kristy Hallett (AUS)
53 Tamsyn Hayes (NZL)
54 Tracy Morrison (AUS)

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