Saturday, November 28, 2020

Jaray set to defend title for 10th year as Laguna Phuket Triathlon rolls out tomorrow

Nov 21. 2020
Jaray Jearanai
Jaray Jearanai
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By THE NATION

The 27th Laguna Phuket Triathlon (LPT) will kick off on Sunday, with a unique race distance of 1,800-kilometre swim, 50km bike and 12km run.

Sponsors and honourary guests during the press conference at Laguna Phuket

Held under enhanced safety and health conditions, the course layout will provide athletes with an unrivalled experience through the scenic backdrop of Phuket.

This year, Southeast Asia’s longest-standing triathlon race, will also feature Team and Sprint Triathlon events, and the inaugural duathlon (4km run, 50km bike, 12km run) on the same day.

Under an enhanced race setup, athletes will now finish together at Laguna Phuket’s Xana Beach Club.

The pre-race press conference was held on Saturday at the Angsana Convention & Exhibition Space, a part of Angsana Laguna Phuket.

Jaray Jearanai of Thailand will defend his record as champion for nine consecutive years in the overall Thai category, while Pareeya Sonsem is expected to lead the Thai female challenge. Krzysztof Hadas of Poland, who finished third at last year’s LPT, and Lindsay Nickel of the US, are expected to pose a strong challenge this year.

"I have been training hard with the aim to defend my title," said the 40-year-old Phuket-based who also eyes on producing his best result in the overall event.

"Despite several stars skipping this year due to COVID-19, the field is still tough. I need to be among the leading pack in swimming and will try to surge ahead in the cycling and running which are my favourites," added Jaray whose best attempt in the overall event was at seventh in 2018. 

The elite athletes to watch on Sunday also include Alexander Dorovskikh (Russia), Inge Prasetyo (Indonesia), Sam Burns (Thailand), Pierre Lafayeedney (United Kingdom), Golatat Kunaborimas (Thailand) and Thai celebrity triathlete Yossavadee “Yo” Hassadeevichit.

Pichet Panapong, deputy Phuket governor, said, “I’d like to congratulate Laguna Phuket Triathlon on its 27th year of success of organising the race that helps promote Phuket as the world’s leading sport tourism destination. This year has been extremely challenging for business across Phuket, due to disruptions in international travel. Whilst we still have a long way to go in rebuilding our tourism sector, it is important we continue with events such as this, under enhanced safety and health conditions.”

Paul Wilson, senior assistant vice president of group golf and destination sales and marketing at Laguna Resorts and Hotels, said: “Laguna Phuket has always remained committed to delivering our Laguna Phuket Triathlon 2020. We would like to thank our partner GAA Events and all local authorities, for working together to ensure we can hold the event in a safe manner. We hope this year’s event can be a welcome boost to the local economy and provide everyone with some much needed positive energy and good feeling.”

As in previous years, athletes and participants in Laguna Phuket Triathlon during the race weekend are encouraged to donate to Laguna Phuket Foundation for its ongoing local charitable causes such as “Fully Booked!” Mobile Learning Centre, Community Learning Centre, Laguna Phuket Kindergarten, Children First Fund and many more.

Pichet, Thapanee Kiatphaibool, deputy governor for tourism products and business, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Gongsak Yodmani, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, and Wilson, were in attendance on Saturday.

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