Moody and Hollioake take out Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championship at Challenge Gunsan-Saemangeum

2 JUNE 2024 – It was an epic day of long-course racing in South Korea for the Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championships, with Jack Moody (NZL) and Regan Hollioake (AUS) taking the titles in 7:50:59 and 8:39:52 respectively.

Jesper Svenssen (SWE) led out the water in 51:04 with Guy Crawford (NZL) and Filipe Azevedo (POR) just one second apart 18 seconds down. Svenssen quickly asserted his dominance, pushing his lead out to over three minutes on Azevedo at the 40km mark. Crawford in third was by now 6:10 down. By the halfway point of the 180km bike, Azevedo was holding on to the three minute deficit but behind him, Moody was moving up the field to third, having exited the water in fifth, riding with Crawford, observing Challenge Family’s 20m drafting rule, 9:20 down on the lead. As they headed towards T2 along the seawall, Azevedo was hunting Svensson down, closing the gap to two minutes while Moody and Crawford had also gained ground, now 6:30 down. However, it was all change at T2 as Azevedo withdrew on medical grounds and Moody came in 5:00 down on Svensson with Crawford a further two minutes behind. Heading out on to the run and Moody continued his attack, closing the gap to Svensson to just 90 seconds after 7km before taking the lead. He never looked back, continuing to extend his lead to take the win and Asia Pacific Championship title in 7:50:59. Svensson took second in 7:56:45 while Liam Duval of Australia ran into third in 8:26:48.

“I missed the toes on the swim, there was a bit of swell and I missed the group I wanted to be in,” said Moody. “But I didn’t let this affect my race, I just kept doing my own thing and eventually got to the front of the race which was awesome.”

In the women’s race, Hollioake was in complete control of the race from start to finish, exiting the water in the lead in 57:31, over half a minute ahead of Marlene De Boer (NED) while third place Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) was nearly 10 minutes further back. Despite only have one gear for the entire ride after an incident in T1, Hollioake had extended her lead to over 10 minutes on De Boer by the time she hit T2. She continued to extend this to take the win in 8:39:52 while De Boer maintained her second place to cross the line in 8:56:58. Bevilaqua rounded out the podium in 9:52:26.

“I’m thrilled,” said Hollioake. “It was quite hard in the swim as was quite choppy but I just tried to keep my cool and just keep to my pace and the swim turned out OK. I dropped my bike and hit the deck, bending my derailleur and brakes so I was riding on one gear for the entire ride so I’m just glad I got through that!”

The professional field was competing not only for a share of the US$43,000 prize purse but also points for the Challenge Family World Bonus. For the more than 1,000 age group athletes, qualification spots for The Championship 2025 were double from six to 12 per age group.

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