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Champion triathletes prove that age does not matter in winning

March 25, 2019 - Monday 1:03 PM by Romeo Braceros

BACK TO BACK. Defending champion of the Female Pro division Radka Kahlefeldt approaches the finish line at the end of her run on March 24. Photo by Daniel Joaquin

In many sports events, youth and stamina are two important factors to becoming champions.

But in this year's edition of the Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao at the Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City, two champions just proved that age does not matter in winning.

Czech Radka Kahlefeldt who successfully defended her crown as women's elite pro champion has shown that being 34 years old and a mother of one is not a hindrance to becoming a champion.

Kahlefeldt won the race with a time of four hours, 16 minutes and 52 seconds over Caroline Steffen of Switzerland (4:19:28) and Kirralee Seidel of Australia (4:28:37).

Kahlefeldt said defending her crown this year was harder because of the stiff competition from other foriegn athletes.

She said her hard work and perseverance has catapulted her to retain her crown this year.

"I am happy to comeback and win again since the race is tough and harder this year," Kahlefeldt told the Mirror.

Kahlefeldt said being older is not a problem in sports as long as you always work hard and persevere to hit your goals.

The Ironman race comprises of a 1.9-kilometer swim into the waters of Island Garden City of Samal and back to Azuela Cove, 90 kilometer bike from Davao City to Tagum City and back, and a 21-kilometer run in Davao City.

August Benedicto, the Asian Elite champion is also happy to win the race at 35 years old.

Benedicto said winning the race this year is special since he was able to win it against younger and stronger opponents.

Benedicto finished the race in four hours, 19 minutes and 58 seconds over Jorry Ycong of the Cebu City Rider Omega (4:33:01) and Ycong’s teammate, Banjo Norte, who maintained his third place finish from last year by crossing the finish line at the same place with a time of 4:33:02.

"Winning the race is unbelievable since I already have two kids and older than other tri-athletes," Bendicto told the Mirror at the sidelines after the race.

Benedicto, a native of Panique, Tarlac said he is happy that his winning time is better this year and his performance is at par with the foreign entries in the race.

Getting a second place finish last year in the Alveo 70.3 kilometer Ironman Asian Elite category, Benedicto said his win this year is surprising since he never expected to win this year due to lack of proper training.

"Kulang ang training ko this year kasi nag-aalaga ako sa anak ko pero masaya ako kasi nanalo pa rin ako," Benedicto said.

As the best placed Filipino in the race, Benedicto said he will savor his win and will rest for a while then he will again resume training for more competition in the future.

An 11-year veteran in the sport of triathlon and five-time winner of Ironman, Benedicto said the secret to winning is hard work and discipline.