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Ashleigh Gentle powers to PTO Asian Open win

Anne Haug loses critical time with mechanical issues on the bike

After dominating the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) events last year with big wins in Edmonton (PTO Canadian Open) and Dallas (PTO US Open), Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle (pictured about taking second at the 2023 PTO US Open) earned another $100,000 pay check in Singapore today. Germany’s Anne Haug, the winner of the PTO European Open in Ibiza earlier this year, had to settle for second after losing valuable time on the bike after something got caught in her rear axel.

Perez Sala leads the swim

Spain’s Sara Perez Sala led the way out of the water, which normally wouldn’t be a surprise if Lucy Charles-Barclay wasn’t in the field. The Brit, who is just coming off a broken bone in her foot, has led the way out of the water in every long-distance race she’s competed in for as long as we can remember, so her two-second deficit to Perez Sala was notable. (Make no mistake, Perez Sala is formidable in the water – she swam breaststroke for Spain at the 2004 Olympics.)

Behind the two swimming speedsters, Kiwi Rebecca Clarke hit T1 54 seconds down, with favourites Gentle and reigning Ironman world champ Chelsea Sodaro 1:48 behind, with Haug getting to her bike 2:29 down.

Gentle powers to the front

Charles-Barclay initially powered to the front of the bike, but was eventually caught and passed by Gentle. After initially looking like she would move to the front on the bike, Haug’s progress was stalled when she was forced to stop and pull some sort of tape out of her rear hub. She lost over two minutes in the process, which would turn out to be decisive.

Gentle continued her impressive ride and made it to T1 in first, with Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds (third at the 2019 70.3 worlds in Nice) next in, followed by Charles-Barclay and Perez Sala, with Haug about a minute behind the Spaniard.

The Australian would hit the run course with 32 second lead over Simmonds, and was 1:06 up on Charles-Barclay, 1:24 ahead of Perez Sala and enjoyed a 2:33 cushion to Haug and 5:20 on Sodaro.

With that much of a lead, Gentle, who is one of the sport’s best runners, got things done in style, getting to the finish line 2:15 ahead of Haug. The German managed used the day’s second-fastest run to take second. Sodaro, who has been struggling for much of the year after a runner-up finish at 70.3 Oceanside and DNFs at the PTO European Open and Challenge Roth, put together a solid performance that featured the day’s fastest run to round out the podium.

1 A. GENTLE 28:20 02:03:42 01:07:25 03:41:16
2 A. HAUG +02:15.49 29:00 02:05:38 01:07:01 03:43:32
3 C. SODARO +04:54.12 28:20 02:08:52 01:06:48 03:46:10
4 I. SIMMONDS +05:49.62 28:22 02:03:59 01:12:27 03:47:06
5 A. WATKINSON +08:00.47 31:27 02:06:38 01:09:12 03:49:17
5 L. CHARLES-BARCLAY +06:43.45 26:34 02:06:23 01:13:00 03:48:00
7 S. PEREZ SALA +13:05.46 26:31 02:06:53 01:18:47 03:54:22
8 R. KAHLEFELDT +13:59.76 28:22 02:08:50 01:16:00 03:55:16
9 S. TRUE +14:13.47 28:20 02:11:12 01:13:44 03:55:30
10 J. MCCAULEY +14:27.61 29:21 02:07:34 01:16:37 03:55:44