Duathlon: Vansteelant to go all out in run
November 10, 2007
WORLD No 1 Joerie Vansteelant claims that his late brother, Benny would have been his keenest competitor in tomorrow’s Malakoff Powerman Malaysia in Seri Manjung.
Benny was the top-ranked duathlete in the world at the time of his death in September from injuries sustained when he was run over by a car during training near his home in Tourhout, Belgium.
He was the world’s most celebrated duathlete, winning world championships in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006, and was last year’s winner of the Malakoff Powerman Malaysia.
Joerie, 25, finished second 83 seconds after Benny in the 11km run, 64km bike and 10km run in the multi-sport event.
“My strategy is to go all out during the first run and build up a strong lead while the weather is still relatively cool. This will make a big difference as there are many strong cyclists in the field, and the Asian competitors have the advantage of being acclimatised to the heat,” said Joerie during a break in training session at Seri Manjung.
The Malakoff Powerman Malaysia offers total prize money of RM132,000, and the winner of the men’s elite getting RM20,000.
Malakoff Corporation Berhad managing director, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: “The Vansteelant brothers are among the top draws at any international duathlon, and we had feared that Joerie would pull out after Benny’s passing, but he responded to the tragic accident with the true grit of a champion.”