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Heat a major concern for triathletes racing at S'pore T100

The tropical heat and humidity will be a cause for concern for the elite triathletes who will be racing at the Singapore T100 on April 13 and 14.

Despite rainy weather on several days, late March and parts of April saw daily maximum temperatures here reach close to 35 deg C. Experts forecast that temperatures in April and May – regularly the year’s warmest months – might rise higher, owing to the lingering effects of El Nino.

Reigning women’s Ironman world champion Lucy Charles-Barclay made sure she acclimatised herself in preparation for her race, despite having trained in London.

While London is similarly rainy, it is markedly different when the sun is out.

She said: “I trained in London for this race, which is obviously a very different climate, but I did most of my training indoors.

“So basically just trying to get it as hot as possible, like over 35 deg C, trying to mimic the humidity as well.”

The 30-year-old said she “spent a lot of time in saunas and in hot baths” just to keep her core temperature high.

Two-time Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee, who is racing in Singapore for the first time, also prepared for the heat.

The Briton said: “I was training in Malaysia for 10 days before this, so I feel like I’ve been here a while. It took me a few days to get used to it. It’s brutally hot but I feel better for it.

“Miami was really hot for me and I definitely overheated as I hadn’t really prepared for those conditions. I’m definitely more prepared for this one. I’m a bit fitter and more prepared for the heat.”

In the women’s elite race on April 13, Ashleigh Gentle, who missed out on the first stop of the T100 season in Miami due to the travelling distance and a conflicting training schedule, will be back to defend her title, which she won last August. It was then known as the Professional Triathletes Organisation Asian Open.

Said the Australian: “I’m the defending champion of this race, but I haven’t actually raced yet in 2024. There was a bit of nervousness but also excitement to get out on the course. Coming back here after winning last year, I picked a pretty big one to start my season with.”

Reigning Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt will not be back to defend his title in the men’s elite race on April 14 as the Norwegian is focusing on his preparations for the Paris Olympics.

With a full field in Singapore, Charles-Barclay is expecting the women’s competition to be tight.

“Last year’s podium was super strong. We’ve got Chelsea Sodaro coming back again and I think she will definitely be a factor,” said Charles-Barclay.

She was speaking at a media event at Sembawang Primary School on April 11, when she competed in a short running relay and tried Singaporean snacks such as iced gems with 13 pupils.

“Ashley’s the favourite being the winner last year, but we saw in Miami that India Lee won and no one had put her as the winner, so that could happen as well.

“We’ve got the top 20 women in the world racing, so the win could come from anywhere and it just depends on who’s having a good day.”

Charles-Barclay finished second in Miami – behind fellow Briton Lee – and she will be aiming to go one better this weekend. However, there is a huge question mark hanging over the participation of the men’s Miami T100 winner Magnus Ditlev.

The 26-year-old Dane had arrived in Singapore on April 8 and fell on the road during a practice ride a day later, fracturing his wrist.

Ditlev said: “At the moment, I’m not sure if I will be able to race or not... I think it may be a little bit difficult to swim with a broken wrist but we’ll see.”

TriathlonSINGAPORE SPORTSOlympicsSingapore