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Challenge Taiwan Half: Dutch star Els Visser chasing sixth successive podium in Asia-Pacific campaign

Els Visser (NED) leads the women's field at Challenge Taiwan Half, which takes place this weekend, with Felipe Azevedo (POR) the top seed in the men's race.

Staff Reporter
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PTO World #19 Els Visser will chase a third podium in as many weeks this weekend at Challenge Taiwan Half, and her sixth of the season, as the in-form Dutch pro takes on a strong field on the Pacific Island.

Third at the second round of the T100 Triathlon World Tour a fortnight ago in Singapore, Visser won IRONMAN 70.3 Lapu-Lapu Cebu in the Philippines last weekend and has certainly been racking up the air miles so far in 2024.

With two wins, one runner-up finish and two bronze medals so far this year, in addition to slots at the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, the 34-year-old will certainly take some stopping.

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Who is racing in the women’s field at Challenge Taiwan Half?

Taking on Visser in the women’s race this weekend will be Lottie Lucas, representing the United Arab Emirates, and Swiss athlete Nina Derron, plus a handful of other professionals ranked outside the PTO Top 100.

els visser challange wanaka 2024
Els Visser takes at emotional win in Wanaka [Photo credit: Challenge Family]

Lucas, who has never gone head-to-head with Visser before, will race for the first time in 2024, following a successful second season of professional racing last year which saw her pick up podiums in Davao, Warsaw and Langkawi.

Derron, without a podium since IRONMAN Vitoria-Gasteiz back in July 2019, will hope to end her wait for more silverware this weekend. A Doctor of Clinical Science, Derron will look to back up her fifth place finish in the Philippines last weekend with another strong result.

Who is racing in the men’s field at Challenge Taiwan Half?

Leading the men’s field in Taiwan is Filipe Azevedo, with the Portuguese pro racing for the first time this season after ending 2023 with a disappointing DNF at IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi.

Sam Osborne takes the win at IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong.
Sam Osborne winning IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong [Photo Credit – Korupt Vision]

Joining him on the start line are Australians Kurt McDonald and Caleb Noble, with Kiwi duo Jack Moody and Sam Osborne also lining up in Taiwan on Saturday, with Osborne racing off the back of two straight podiums in Geelong and Cebu.

Finally, Tuan Chun Chang will represent the home nation and having finished in third last year, will hope to replicate that result or better when he lines up in front of a home crowd on Saturday.

Start time and how to follow live

Challenge Taiwan Half will take place on Saturday April 27. The professional field will start at 07:30 local time, which corresponds to 00:30 in the UK, 01:30 in Central Europe and 16:30 on Friday April 26 on the West Coast.

Live updates will start on race morning and can be found by clicking here. Alternatively, you can find updates throughout the race via @challengefamily and @challengegrancanaria on social media.

Prize Money: What’s on the line?

Athletes will be racing for a total prize purse of $19,000, payable six deep as follows:

  • 1st – €3,500
  • 2nd – €2,100
  • 3rd – €1,400
  • 4th – €1,150
  • 5th – €850
  • 6th – €500
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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