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Pros In Phuket: Press Conference Sound Bytes

Pros gathered on Saturday for the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship press conference.

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Local dignitaries, Laguna Phuket Resort management and professional triathletes gathered on Saturday morning in Thailand for a live radio broadcast of the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship pre-race press conference. Following are a few words from the pro athletes in attendance:

Michael Raelert

Before I came I was preparing so much for this event in my mind. But since I got here on Tuesday evening, actually I forgot about the race already! I got here and the weather is so nice and warm the resort is beautiful, and of course the people here are so great and so gorgeous. Right now it’s really hard for me – I have to get focused again on the race! But I’m looking forward to the race. The organizers do a great job compared to some other races in the world – it’s one of the best, honestly. But I’m already looking forward to Sunday afternoon when I’m done and then can take more holiday.

Faris Al-Sultan

I told him (Michael Raelert) to go slow during the race so I can show him all the beautiful aspects of the landscape!

At this early stage of my season I lack a little bit of speed and intensity for having a really fast race, but obviously you have to start somewhere and I’m looking forward to the race and trying to get as far as I can with endurance and a little less speed.

Chris Lieto

I’ve heard about this race for many years and I’ve always wanted to come. This year it was possible to have my wife come with me so I didn’t want to miss it. It’s been an amazing time here at the Banyan Tree enjoying the hospitality. I love the bike course – I rode it a few days ago – and I’m really looking forward to a great race tomorrow.

Melissa Rollison

This is only my first full season racing. Last year this race was only my second ever half ironman, so hopefully I’m a lot fitter than last year. I was really looking forward to racing Caroline [Steffen, the 2010 champion who is not returning to race] this year. I’ve only done half a dozen races, but this is the only one I haven’t won so far, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a very tough course and tough competition out there – people that have won Ironman Kona six times [referring to Natascha Badmann]! So it’s a tough challenge out there, but the course is fantastic. Probably one of the toughest of the courses I’ve done so far.