Winners Defend Titles At 20th Port Of Tauranga Half Ironman

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Mon 17/Nov/08 8:34am

Super-talented Kieran Doe and Australian Kate Bevilaqua have confirmed they will defend their titles at the 20th Port of Tauranga Half Ironman in January.

The 2008 winners are chasing back-to-back wins in the country’s longest running Half Ironman event at Mount Maunganui on Saturday 10 January.

Both are keen to put behind them real disappointments after 2008 promised so much.

Doe, 27, followed his breakthrough win in Ironman Canada last year with a superb victory at the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman, where he charged to the front from the start and was never headed.

Bevilaqua, who had a string of fourth placings last year, ventured to Mt Maunganui from Perth as part of her preparations for Ironman New Zealand. She ran down defending champion Joanna Lawn as the pair duelled it out with only 10 seconds between them at the end.

Both Doe and Bevilaqua believed the wins would provide the platform for a big 2008 season, with the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii the major aim.

Doe’s season was developing well until he succumbed to a virus that laid him low for more than three weeks at a critical time. After missing a crucial block of training he decided to bypass Hawaii.

He raced some 70.3 Half Ironman races from his base in Boulder, Colorado where he trained with fellow kiwi Terenzo Bozzone, who went on to win the 70.3 world championships earlier this month.

Doe, who reckons he is in the best shape of his life, has one big appointment before Mt Maunganui, at Ironman Arizona next weekend.

“It was so disappointing to get laid low while I was in Europe. I never ever get sick, but this one absolutely bowled me over,â€
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