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Tim Don, Jeanni Seymour win 70.3 Liuzhou, China

Another gun-to-tape victory for Great Britain's Tim Don as his 2017 season continues in fine style at IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou in China

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Gun-to-tape victory secures second IRONMAN 70.3 win of the season for Tim Don

Just two weeks after opening his season with success in Campeche, Mexico, Great Britain’s Tim Don continued his fine start to 2017 with success in China. IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou was the venue this time.

How The Don did it…

Leading out of the water in a swift (short?!) time of 19:39, he had Ivan Kalashnikov (RUS), Justin Mezler (USA), Alexander Polizzi (AUS), Eric Watson (BAH) and Brad Kahlefledt (AUS) in close order. As he did in Mexico, another strong bike performance – just 14 seconds shy of two hours flat – left him alone and solo at the front on return to the bike racking. The next fastest rider was multiple Wildflower Triathlon winner and 2016 IRONMAN Lanzarote champion, Jesse Thomas, with a 2:02:49. Having lost over a minute to Don in the water, he was still four minutes in arrears starting the run.

As was the case in Mexico, a strong bike didn’t destroy his running legs either, and Don closed out the day with a 1:12:44 half marathon, faster than all but Thomas (1:11:34), for a winning margin of over three minutes. Patrick Evoe completed the podium in third almost nine minutes down on the British winner.

As we mentioned two weeks ago, Tim has recently added the input of Matt Bottrill to his existing coaching set up, and early season results would suggest that has been a good move. There will be tougher challenges and deeper fields to follow later in the year, but an athlete who has won ITU World Championships in Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon, plus World Championship Bronze at IRONMAN 70.3, has shown proven ability to adapt and develop through his long career. At 39 years of age, Tim is seemingly still not content to rest on his laurels, seeking the improvements required to compete at the very top of the sport. Does he have another World Championship win left in him? We look forward to seeing if he does.

Close finish for the women

While almost nine minutes separated first and third in the men’s Pro race, the women were much more closely bunched, the podium separated by less than three minutes – with Gold and Silver separated by a mere 31 seconds.

The opening swim was dominated by Haley Chura (USA), her 20:01 clocking was just 22 seconds off of the time of men’s Pro leader and race winner, Tim Don. Only Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) was close (20:46), Jeannie Seymour (RSA) was close on a minute further back – also alone – before a small group arrived on dry land around the 23 minute mark.

During the bike leg, Kahlefeldt would close the small gap to Chura, the pair recorded the top two bike splits of the day and arriving at T2 in close order, approaching four minutes clear of Seymour.

The run however would be the deciding factor today, and a superb 1:17:15 clocking from Seymour – the best of the day by over four minutes – would see her overhaul her deficit from the first two legs and move past Kahlefeldt late in the run to earn and narrow victory, while Chura’s 1:23:25 was good enough to complete the podium positions.

Seymour adds to her China-based success in Liuzhou, having also won IRONMAN 70.3 Xiamen in November.

IRONMAN 70.3 Liuzhou, China – Saturday 1st April 2017
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

Men

1st – Tim Don (GBR) – 3:37:44
2nd – Jesse Thomas (USA) – 3:40:59
3rd – Patrick Evoe (USA) – 3:46:37

Women

1st – Jeanni Seymour (RSA) – 4:08:08
2nd – Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) – 4:08:39
3rd – Haley Chura (USA) – 4:10:58

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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