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IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi results: Power couple Gentle and Amberger enjoy the perfect day

A great day for the Australian pair in Malaysia

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Ashleigh Gentle and Josh Amberger notched another career first at IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi on Saturday as they claimed their first victories at the same race since being married a year ago.

The Australian pair both struck gold with fine wins at the 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship to make it a perfect Saturday in Malaysia.

Pro Women – Gentle just too good

PTO Asian Open winner Gentle was stellar throughout the day, as she came home almost six minutes in front of New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson, with Lottie Lucas (UAE) claiming the final podium spot.

Gentle was second out of the water after the 1.9km swim, three seconds down on Julie Iemmolo (FRA). Thanks to a fast transition Watkinson was the first female out onto the bike with Gentle, Lucas, and Iemmolo hot on her heels. The quartet then rode strongly together as a lead group over the 90km bike, with just seconds separating the women as they entered transition for the second time.

Ashleigh Gentle IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi 2023
Ashleigh Gentle wins in Langkawi (Photo – IRONMAN).

Onto the run and Gentle quickly asserted her dominance to open up what would prove to be a decisive gap to her toiling rivals. She would not be caught and continued to build on that lead before taking the tape in 4:10:17.

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Pro Men – Josh takes the spoils

Amberger claimed victory with a similarly impressive performance, being prominent all day before making his decisive move for victory on the run.

Providing a detailed debrief on his race, Josh explained: “It was a really technical race, I led out the swim and we had a large group of men with us I think seven or eight guys. The very first corner (on the bike) Anthony Costes, the Frenchman, he crashed, and it was a bit of a shock, so we kind of had to go easy for a little bit and just work out if the roads were slippery but no, it was pretty good.

“A few of us worked really well together but it wasn’t until the last 30 kilometres or last half an hour on the bike when we started really throwing down the attacks and dropping some athletes, so it was good to thin the field out a little bit.

“I knew we had a large gap for the run and the podium was really up for grabs with the front three and I kind of just built into it, I let them go, I didn’t take the lead until 11 or 12 kilometres into the run. When I got to the lead, I felt really good and just wanted to push the advantage and I was able to seal the deal and run away with the run. I was really happy with my race today.”

Amberger took the tape in a time of 3:50:47, over a minute ahead of Mike Phillips (NZL), with Kurt McDonald (AUS) in third.

Josh Amberger IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi 2023
Josh Amberger takes the tape in Malaysia (Photo – IRONMAN).

As well as top the podium places, Gentle and Amberger also claimed their spots for the 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupō, New Zealand. The pro races each carried three spots for that massive showdown next year.

Not surprisingly, Ashleigh and Josh were extremely pleased with their day’s work, with Gentle adding: “We got married last year and we’ve been out on the triathlon circuit together for over a decade but the last two years we’ve been able to share some race experiences together, so to be able to come here and win this Asia Pacific Championship title, taking two titles to one household in Australia, it feels pretty good.”

Josh meanwhile said: “Most days we train together. We’ve got the same coach, sometimes our programme differs a little bit but yeah, we spend a lot of time together, pretty much most of the day to be honest so it’s working out so far and we’re still improving and getting better, and still married so that’s so good.”

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IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi Results 2023

Saturday October 7, 2023

Pro Women

  • 1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) – 4:10:17
  • 2. Amelia Watkinson (NZL) – 4:16:05
  • 3. Lottie Lucas (UAE) – 4:20:59
  • 4. Julie Iemmolo (FRA) – 4:29:45
  • 5. Kylie Simpson (AUS) – 4:40:02

Pro Men

  • 1. Josh Amberger (AUS) – 3:50:47
  • 2. Mike Phillips (NZL) – 3:52:23
  • 3. Kurt McDonald (AUS) – 3:54:33
  • 4. Ben Hamilton (NZL) – 3:56:26
  • 5. James Teagle (GBR) – 3:57:24
Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
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