MANILA -- Berths to this year's world championships will be up for grabs in the IRONMAN 70.3 Davao that fires off this Sunday at Azuela Cove, where over a thousand participants will see action.
On top of the 30 slots offered in various age-group categories, the event is also offering 25 extra spots for women to the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on Aug. 26-27 in Lahti, Finland.
The event marks the return of professional participants to the local triathlon scene and to Davao, which hosted the IM 70.3 in 2018 and 2019 that was topped by Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez and Germany’s Markus Rolli, respectively.
Eighteen pros and a slew of age-group aces from 46 categories will see action in the 1.9 km swim, 90km bike and 21k run event, with Portuguese Filipe Azevedo and fellow IM 70.3 champion Tuan Chun Chang of Taiwan among the top contenders.
Now based in Dubai, Azevedo, 30, dominated the 2019 IM 70.3 Shanghai and topped his country’s Middle Distance Triathlon National Championships last year, while Chang ruled the IM Taitung in record fashion (3:52.48) and topped the Taipei Triathlon National Championships, both last year.
Aussie Dimity-Lee Duke, a regular local triathlon campaigner who dominated a number of 5150 races before the pandemic, heads the women’s pro cast that also features Sarah Crowley, who topped the ITU Long Distance Triathlon world tilt and finished third in the IM World Championship, both in 2017, and Lottie Lucas of United Arab Emirates.
The pros will slug it out for the top $30,000 purse.
Meanwhile, a winner-take-all cash prize of P550,000 and a perpetual trophy handcrafted by noted homegrown artist Kublai Millan also awaits the Tribu Maisugon winner. The event is held in honor of the city’s 11 tribes.
The grand prize was initially pegged at P500,000 courtesy of the city government but Davao Light Power Company, Inc. added P50,000 to the purse.