Lihir athlete wins triathlon event

Normal, Sports

LIHIR Gold Limited and triathlon seasoned campaigner Tim O’Sullivan has set a new course record in a time 1’07:48  to win this year’s bemobile sprint triathlon challenge held at Ela Beach over the weekend.
O’Sullivan broke the six-month-old record of 1’8:38 set by Andrew Schloeffel in May.
The Lihirian beat Justine McGann of Curtain Brothers to the line.
McGann’s time was 1’09:56 followed by Scot Bishop of Bishop Brothers Engineering, who finished third in a time of 1’13:06.
Fourth was the first female runner Susan Pini, who breasted the finishing line in a time 1’13:21,  which is two minutes slower than the course record set by Caroline McGann in May.
McGann’s unofficial women’s record set in May is 1’15:19.
Mary-Anne Elkington came second in 1’14.22  in the  women’s division.
However, she finished ninth overall while last year’s winner in women’s division, McGann finished a disappointing third in a time of 1’15:54  – and overall 11th.
Four male runners came in neck-and-neck with James Caroll leading the pack in a time of 1’13:44 followed by Brendan Raftery (1’14:01), Dave Vosen (1’14:10) and Leon Williamson of Hastings Deering (1’14:16).
Event coordinator Stephen Damien and Logistic coordinator Stephen Sallun expressed sincere gratitude to the individuals and companies who had supported the triathlon event this year.
The organisers said the sport was new to Papua New Guineans but was slowly picking up momentum from every corner of the country.
They thanked Lihir Gold Limited for sending the largest contingent of six athletes led by eventual winner O’Sullivan, Jan Kubat, Justin Humphrey, Gerard Baarslag and two women – Caroline hardy, who finished sixth in the women’s divisions in 1’25:09, and Amy Fisher, who failed to complete the course.
Damien thanked the title sponsors, bemobile, for helping to grow the sport in PNG.
Other sponsors were PNG Ports, NGCB, Air Niugini, Royal Papua Yacht Club, Spic N Span, Pryde Furniture, Boroko Foodworld and Bishop Brothers. 
“I also would like to thank all the athletes who competed in our events this year.
“We will be planning extra events next year to select and prepare PNG athletes for the 2011 Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia,” he said.
Spic N Span operation manager Fong Ainui said his company was pleased to be involved in such grueling sports by providing water stations and cleaning/tiding up the route.
He said they have been associated with the triathlon since started in May.