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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Plese and Casey take honours in the inaugural triathlon

David Plese of Slovenia and Deirdre Casey of Ireland won the men’s and women’s championships in the inaugural Dubai International Triathlon held Friday at Atlantis, The Palm.
David Plese of Slovenia celebrates after winning the men's title at the Dubai International Triathlon at Atlantis, The Palm on November 7, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Francois Nel / Getty Images
David Plese of Slovenia celebrates after winning the men's title at the Dubai International Triathlon at Atlantis, The Palm on November 7, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Francois Nel / Getty Images

DUBAI // David Plese of Slovenia and Deirdre Casey of Ireland won the men’s and women’s championships in the inaugural Dubai International Triathlon held Friday at Atlantis, The Palm.

Plese, 31, finished the “half-iron” route in three hours, 58 minutes, 18 seconds.

The victory by Slovenia’s national champion was no great surprise.

He was third in the Ironman Austria race in June and second in the Ironman Switzerland.

Plese was followed to the finish line in Dubai by Till Schramm of Germany, who posted a time of 4:02.07, and Kevin Thornton of Ireland, who was clocked at 4:04.08.

Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family, finished in 4:43.12 as he prepared for the inaugural Challenge Bahrain next month. Casey’s time was 4:34.47, to lead the women.

The “half-iron” triathlon features distances half as long as those in ironman triathlons: a 1.9-kilometre swim, a 90km bicycle ride and a 21.1km run.

The swim was held in calm water off the Atlantis.

The cycling portion of the event went along Hessa Street to Dubai Sports City and back.

The run was along the crescent of Palm Jumeirah.

Organisers said 280 triathletes travelled to Dubai for the event and they were joined by more than 700 UAE residents, including army and police units.

The race was organised by Race ME with the backing of Dubai Sports Council (DSC).

“We hope to make this an annual event in the Dubai sports calendar and hope to attract many more athletes in the future,” DSC board member Saeed Hareb said.

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