Australia's Jason Metters emerged as the new Abu Dhabi International men's triathlon champion while veteran John Hellemans from New Zealand and Dubai schoolgirl Mona Fares extended their domination in their respective categories here on Thursday.
Metters, who extended his stay here after finishing his contract as coach of the Abu Dhabi Police team, won the feature event in the Dh214,000 Fifth Abu Dhabi International Triathlon Championship at the Al Raha Beach Area. The championship, sponsored By Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was organised by the Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club.
Among the top 10 in the triathlon world, the 28-year-old Metters added another title, his first in the UAE, after having won in Europe, Asia and America. "I delayed my return by about two weeks to take part here and now I am happy I can carry more gifts to my family," said Metters after his triumph.
The closest challenge to Metters came from John Hellermans, almost 20 years older than him, but running in the Veterans section. Hellermans, who finished just 15 seconds behind Metters, recorded a hat-trick of wins in the over-40 section here. "It's winter in New Zealand and I did not have much practice before coming here about two days ago," said Hellermans, who has won the World Veterans title five times.
"Abu Dhabi is such a good venue that I will come back again next year," he said after winning his third title here.
Fifteen-year-old Mona Fares has made the Al Raha Beach Area a regular hunting ground. After winning the UAE Schools event last week she was back to winning ways in the girls' section. "My dream is to become a successful triathlete," said the Latifa School student whose mother is a Physical Training teacher and father Dr. Mohammed Fares, a Consultant with Dubai Sports TV Channel. Mona, a reputed swimmer, has now won most of the triathlon events in her category in the UAE.
The UAE's number one Said Al Suwaidi was once again on target as he won the title among nationals while the Abu Dhabi Police Team swept the team events. "The training we had under Jason Mitters has really helped," said Saif, who came up with a solid display to clip almost seven minutes from his previous best over the distance.
International male: 1. Jason Metters (Australia) 55 mins 50 secs; 2. Nestor Anselmo (Philippines) 1:13:24; 3. Galeb Shikh Al Eid (Palestine) 1:14:50.
International female: 1. Cindy Taylor (New Zealand) 1:04:46.
UAE nationals: 1. Saif Al Suwaidi -1:01:15; 2. Ali Abdulla Issa -1:03:10; 3. Ibrahim Bouhindi -1:03:26.
Veteran male: 1. John Hellemans (New Zealand) 56:02; 2. Wagner Roland (Germany) 1:06:27; 3. Martin Waide (Germany) 1:09:15.
Veteran female: 1. Marion Meihrmann (Germany) 1:07:21; 2. Manoy Summers (Great Britain) 1:13:13; 3. Alice Hanson (USA) 1:15:14.
UAE residents male: 1. Kevin Murray (New Zealand) 1:02:08; 2. Andrew Garrett (Australia) 1:03:16; 3. Mihail Kouzev (Bulgaria) 1:04:44.
UAE residents female: 1. Robyn Murray (NZL) 1:06:53; 2. Joe Critoph; 3. Jillian Burns.
Junior boys (under-18): 1. Sheikh Juma Majid Al Maktoum (1:13:39); 2. Nasser Eid Abdul Aziz; 3. Khalid Ali.
Junior girls: 1. Mona Fares (Germany) 1:20:28; 2. Jyothsna J. Shenoy (India) 1:28:29.
Men: 1. Abu Dhabi Police `A' (Ibrahim Jasim, Ali Darwish, Moudtafa Abdul), 2. Abu Dhabi Police `B'; 3. Abu Dhabi Police `C.'
Women: 1. Jumeirah Beach Stars (Maria Moussievs, Susie Anderson, Nikky Harradine), 2. Jennifer Sullivan Team; 3. PAF.
Mixed teams: 1. Raptor Trading ; 2. Jumeirah Beach Arrows; 3. Shelly King.