A stellar field jam-packed with world champions has been assembled for the SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah on Sunday.
Last year’s winners and former IRONMAN 70.3 World Champions Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and Australian Melissa Hauschildt are back to defend their titles at Mandurah on 9 November.
They will be joined by five-time World Champion Craig Alexander and two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Michael Raelert (GER). Added to that are two-time podium finisher at the IRONMAN World Championship Rachel Joyce (GBR), current IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Champion Caroline Steffen and two-time Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt.
Australia’s most celebrated Ironman, Alexander is primed and ready to make sure the IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah title, which doubles as the Australian Pro Championship, doesn’t cross the Tasman again.
“I am really looking forward to racing in Mandurah. I didn't run as fast in Kona as I'd hoped but as a result, I feel like I have recovered much quicker,” Alexander said.
“I am hoping for a really good performance in Mandurah. I haven't raced much this season but if I can replicate my form from February’s IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong, I would be happy.”
Bozzone was in devastating form in Western Australia last year, but faces a vastly different test this year.
“It’s a top race and a fantastic place so I am looking forward to returning. I know it is going to be way tougher than last year and no doubt will attract a great field,” Bozzone said.
“The Australians are getting quicker and quicker and they didn’t really like a Kiwi taking their title last year.”
Hauschildt has recovered from the torn pectoral muscle that forced her out of the defence of her IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title last month and from her planned debut at the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii. The Queenslander is chasing her third straight title at Mandurah, but will be tested by the world class field.
One of those tests is sure to come from Joyce. After a third place at the IRONMAN World Championship, she plans to use the fitness that helped her land a second consecutive podium finish in Hawaii at Mandurah
“I am looking forward to heading to WA and racing the 70.3 distance. My fitness is in a great place post Kona and I think I can race really well provided I am smart with how I recover,” she said.
“My sister lives in Perth so it’s a bonus to be able to be able to combine racing with a visit to see her.”
Race day on Sunday 9 November will also include over 1500 age group athletes chasing their own personal bests.