“Come on in, the water’s lovely!”
In truth, sheltered from a biting wind, Hilton Salwa Resort’s marina was indeed the warmest place to be as the latest Qatar National Triathlon Series event finally got underway after a 24 hour delay to allow Friday’s storms to blow through.
Lesser but still challenging conditions continued to very much characterise this race though: With 100 meters cut from the 750m swim to stay within the shelter of the marina and the bike course an atypically long 28 KM, this was a day for cyclists with both strength and skill because, although the chasing wind pushed the fastest at well over 50 KPH down to the newly opened Saudi border, side gusts created some jittery moments at these speeds. Those who could stay relaxed and aerodynamic profited and the organiser’s decision to restrict wheel rim depth on safety grounds was justified.
Competitors fully expected to work hard after the U-turn at Bu Samra and perhaps were pleasantly surprised that the up-wind section wasn’t more of a battle. Overall, average speeds were comparable to a more typical race day.
It was Spanish husband and wife, Aday Alvarez and Isora Sosa Caballero, who would each take the wins in Men’s and Woman’s races. Isora swam 9:15, convincingly beating the two swim specialists Sarah Nicholls and Michelle Shillabeer (both TriClub Doha). Her challenger on the bike was Julie Melville (Rasen Adventure Shop), who took back 33 seconds and on the run Toni Snoxell (TriClub Doha) went 73 seconds faster for the best 4.6 KM run split (17:35) of the day but that was nowhere near enough to overturn the swim advantage that Sosa Caballero had on either. The fastest in the individual disciplines; Sosa Caballero, Melville and Snoxell ranked as the top three overall.
For Aday too, a dominant swim (07:43) was a good foundation for a perfect race. Others, with the exception of Guillame Soutter (Team Al Jassra), not coming within minutes of him on the bike and even Ethan Bennet’s (Millfield Triathlon) incredible 15:13 run didn’t bring him close.
First Qatari athlete was Saad Almejali (Qtri) in 8th in his category. Saad led a trio of Mubarak Alajji (NeverWasted Team) and Abdulla Al Menhali (QTri) over the line to close out the top 10 in the 18-39 age group.
With the date shift and weather forecast, there was a 15% drop-out but 263 competitors registered for the Friday event still made the drive down from Doha. They were rewarded with an excellent new triathlon venue at the Hilton Salwa Resort & Villas and hard but satisfying racing. Quite a few wrapped up and took advantage of a post-race hot drink in a glorious beach-side setting.
“We’re so proud that together with the Qatar Triathlon Federation we had the privilege to host the Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas Triathlon on the resort premises. Sport plays a major role in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the QTF’s National Triathlon Series has been a real driver for the country. Hilton is a corner stone in hospitality and with this comes our responsibility to support and take part in major sporting events and helping
with Qatar’s Vision 2030. With this focus in mind and Qatar’s leading role in welcoming International events, the resort has a fully-fledged sports academy with training facilities, football pitches, multi-purpose playing courts, indoor swimming pools, and a medical center. Where we look forward to host big sporting events and accommodate for sports enthusiasts. “said Etienne Gailliez, Country General Manager, Hilton, Qatar
The Qatar National Triathlon Series is supported by Qatar Olympic Committee and sponsored by Rayyan Water, Carrefour, Rasen Sports, Sports Corner, Yalla Toys.
1. Matteo FRANCESCHI (TriClub Doha) 1:14:02
2. Patricio GUTIERREZ (TriClub Doha) 1:16:08
3. Liam HALLEUX (TriClub Doha) 1:27:29
1. Aday ALVAREZ DIEZ DE ULZURRUN 1:07:01
2. Ethan BENNETT (Millfield Triathlon) 1:08:46
3. Erik SOLBERG (TriClub Doha) 1:12:49
1. Steve MACKLIN (TriClub Doha) 1:11:14
2. Christophe OWENS (TriClub Doha) 1:16:17
3. Simon MORTIMER 1:16:17
1. Ailsa CAMERON (TriClub Doha) 1:31:11
2. Anvitha ERINI (TriClub Doha) 1:54:05
3. Rasha SAJEER KALANDAN (TriClub Doha) 2:03:19
1. Isora Sosa Cabalerro 1:18:35
2. Toni Snoxell (TriClub Doha) 1:20:59
3. Adeline Cormary (TriClub Doha) 1:25:44
1. Julie MELVILLE (Rasen Adventure Shop) 1:20:32
2. Daniela SPOSI (TriClub Doha) 1:22:45
3. Karen MONTGOMERY (TriClub Doha) 1:31:11
1. Ahmed Atari / Fadel Al Khater / Khalid Alqahtani (QTRI TEAM REALLY 1) 1:06:29
2. Stuart Bloor / Marwan Aljalham / Rachid Boudalla (Rasen Adventure Shop) 1:06:57
3. Abdulrahman Alolan / Nayef Al Mesallam / Mohammad Alsulaiti (QTRI TEAM REALLY 2) 1:09:21 (best all Qatari team)
1. Abdulaziz AL-JABER 1:27:41
2. Abdulaziz MAJID ALGHANIM 1:48:00
Qatari Men 18-39
1. Saad ALMEJALI (Qtri) 1:17:42
2. Mubarak ALAJJI (Neverwasted team) 1:18:05
3. Abdulla AL MENHALI (QTRI) 1:19:08
Qatari Men 40+
1. Soliman ALADAWI (QTRI) 1:26:33
2. Abdulaziz ALMOHANNADI 1:27:50
3. Nasser MUBARAK (QTRI) 1:31:04
RESULTS > Complete results of the Hilton Salwa Triathlon can be found on https://www.qtriseries.com/event/lusail-triathlon-2020/results/
PHOTOS > https://www.facebook.com/QatarTriathlonFederation/photos
NEXT EVENT > February 2021 (TBA)