Abu Dhabi: Faris Al Sultan and Deirdre Casey set records on their way to winning the men’s and women’s Olympic category races respectively at the annual Tri Yas triathlon held at the Yas Marina Circuit on Friday.
Al Sultan came home in 1hr 50 mins 24 secs, bettering the previous record by more than seven minutes, while Casey shattered the previous best mark of 2:21.38 by more than 15 minutes with a time of 2:06.17.
More than 900 UAE, regional and international athletes took part in the third edition of the Yas Marina Circuit Tri Yas, with competitions held in various categories and age groups.
Al Sultan, who finished ahead of last year’s winner Olivier Godart, said: “It was a hard race but this event is good because of the great venue and because it’s well organised. This is such a great venue, you’ve got to use it [to your advantage].”
Luxembourg’s Godart, the only amateur athlete on the men’s Olympic category podium, was timed at 1:50.47. which was also better than his previous Tri Yas record by more than seven minutes. In third place was the man who finished second behind Godart last year, Egyptian Omar Nour, who finished on the podium despite crashing during the bike stage.
Casey was followed home by Alice Wilson, who also beat the old record and now holds the second fastest category time of 2:13.43. Third place in the women’s Olympic category went to Belinda O’Leary with 2:26.27.
In the sprint, men’s top honours went to Great Britain’s Mark Lewarne with 1:10.12, while Zoe Magrath of Great Britain achieved 1:19.16 to come in first in the women’s sprint category. Second-place sprinters were Britain’s Paul Stevens (1:13.54) and B Jessica Josselin (1:20.41), while third place went to the UAE’s Saif Alsmahe (1:14.00) and Frederique Idri (1:22.54) of France.
“Tri Yas truly embodies the spirit of the Abu Dhabi community and we congratulate everyone who participated in Tri Yas 2013, especially our team and individual winners,” said Al Tareq Al Ameri, Senior Director, Commercial at Yas Marina Circuit. “We had a record number of spectators and some fantastic competition. Judging by the success of today, it’s clear that Tri Yas is truly a triathlon for everyone.”