Bakkegard sets new Ironman 70.3 Dubai record; Ryf takes women's crown
Bakkegard took the men's crown in the season-opening Ironman 70.3 race with a time of three hours, 33 minutes and 2 seconds
Daniela Ryf, winner of the Dubai women’s title in 2016 and 2017, made a triumphant return to competition on Friday with a blistering run on the streets of Jumeirah to pip 2020 champion Imogen Simmonds for the Ironman 70.3 Dubai women’s title.
Denmark’s Daniel Bakkegard took the men’s crown in the season-opening Ironman 70.3 race with a time of three hours, 33 minutes and 2 seconds to break the previous record of Jan Frodeno (03:34:48 set in 2016).
“It was a nice race where the organisers had everything under control,” said Bakkegard, saluting the organisers for a job well done. “Certainly, they showed they could put together a good race even though we have this situation with Covid-19 going on. So yeah, I will definitely come back.”
Portugal’s Filipe Azevedo finished second, while Sweden’s Rasmus Svenningsson, the 2018 Ironman 25-29 age group world champion, came in third.
Meanwhile, Ryf, winner of five Ironman 70.3 World Championship titles and four Ironman World Championship, was competing for the first time on Friday since the Kona Ironman in October, 2019.
Coming to Dubai, the 33-year-old was not sure about her form as she revealed she was forced to swim in her bathtub through the early days of last year’s Covid-19-enforced break.
Sweden’s Sara Svensk finished third in 04:05:17, while Russia’s Elena Danilova (04:07:37) and Cecilia Perez of Mexico (04:08:27) brought up the Top 5.
“I have great memories here in Dubai,” said Ryf after winning her third Ironman 70.3 Dubai crown.
“I always enjoy being here. The race is great - it’s well organised and a really fast course. The atmosphere of the run, especially, is pretty cool. The people were really pushing me hard. I was impressed how many times I heard my name. So I felt really supported. I am really glad to be here and to start again the season with a strong race, that makes me really happy yeah.”
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