The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) has announced its four wildcards for the PTO Asian Open men’s and women’s races in Singapore on Saturday 19 and 20 August.
On the men’s side, Marten Van Riel (BEL) gets his second PTO Tour wildcard in a week following his inclusion for the PTO US Open. Many believe Van Riel is well suited to the longer distance given his bike power and ability to swim at the front of the pack – as well as his middle-distance world best time in Dubai last year. In August, he’ll get two opportunities to measure up.
PTO World #38 David McNamee from Great Britain is rewarded with a start for his 11th place finish at the PTO European Open in Ibiza and 2nd place at the recent Challenge Salou.
New Zealander Mike Phillips gets his first PTO Tour start after some strong results this season that include him having won the Ironman 70.3 Geelong and Ironman New Zealand races in March.
The final men’s wildcard goes to the popular German Mika Noodt, who is back to fitness after a long lay off since the Ironman 70.3 World Championships last October.
On the women’s side Amelia Watkinson (NZL) gets another crack at a PTO Open after finishing 16th at the PTO European Open. Watkinson is ranked #40 and she will be looking to build on a promising 4th place in our last outing at Challenge ‘The Championship’ Samorin.
Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE), who is very popular in South East Asia having won and podiumed there in many races, gets her second shot at a PTO Tour race. Having led at Ironman Australia in May before finishing second to Kylie Simpson, Kahlefeldt is having a solid season that has included four 2nd place finishes – in Ironman Cairns, Ironman 70.3 Geelong, the Husky Ultimate at the start of the year and Ironman Australia.
Ruth Astle is the third women’s wildcard. The three time Ironman winner and PTO Athlete Board member will start her third race of the season in Singapore, looking to improve on 7th position in Challenge Gran Canaria and then a frustrating DNF at the World Triathlon Long Distance Championships in Ibiza when she was battling a pre-existing calf injury and pulled out at the start of the run.
Australian Penny Slater is the final women’s wildcard. Racing Kona in 2022 as one of the youngest professional females highlighted her ambition to reach the top echelons of the sport and she has had promising performances this season, where she has made the podium in four of her five races.
Both the women’s and men’s 100km races in Singapore will take place at the Marina Bay area against the backdrop of the iconic Singapore skyline. The final 100km course details were unveiled earlier this week, including a 16km circuit for the bike leg which starts and finishes at the Bayfront Event Space and takes athletes up the famous Sheares Bridge to give awe-inspiring views of the city. For more information on the course, visit https://protriathletes.org/events/pto-tour/asian-open/age-group.
The prize fund for the PTO Opens in 2023 is $600,000 USD per event split evenly between the top 20 female and male athletes – with $100,000 USD for the winner, $50,000 USD for second and $35,000 USD for third – making each event the most lucrative in the sport over this distance.
How amateurs can sign up too…
PTO Tour events also provide opportunities for the amateurs to race on the same courses and on the same weekend as the leading professionals. Alongside the 100km triathlon for professionals, there is also a 100km for experienced amateurs as well as two duathlon races over a standard 4.5km Run/32km Bike/4.5km Run and a longer 9km Run/64km Bike/9km Run. Plus there’s the return to Singapore of The Music Run ¬– a signature 5km fun run that encourages everyone to have a go while listening to their favourite tunes. To sign up for the remaining few places in what promises to be a festival of multisport activity for all abilities, visit https://protriathletes.org/events for the 100km experienced amateur triathlon or duathlons or for The Music Run go to https://themusicrun.com.sg/
The 2023 PTO Asian Open full men’s and women’s start lists are here.