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Putting Bali Sports on the Map

Jakarta Post: Bali Triathlon Puts Island on International Sports Agenda


Bali News:
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(7/2/2007)

Wasti Atmodjo of The Jakarta Post filed the following report following last week's successful Bali International Triathlon [See: The Birth of a Bali Sporting Tradition].

From the Jakarta Post:

"Last weekend, Bali was packed with hundreds of professional and amateur athletes taking part in the first Bali International Triathlon on June 24.

Despite the scorching sun of Jimbaran, contestants from 25 countries enjoyed the sporting event -- competing in swimming, running and cycling -- while also holidaying on the island.

Before sunrise on Sunday, athletes and spectators crowded the venue near the Four Season Hotels and Resorts in Jimbaran Bay. The competition started with a 1.5-kilometer swim across Jimbaran Beach.

Jointly organized by the Bali International Triathlon LLC, Bali Discovery Tours, Generic events, and Strom and Associate, the Bali triathlon is to become an annual international sports event to attract more athletes to the island.

After finishing the swimming segment, the contestants ran to where their bicycles were waiting to embark on a 40-kilometer race from Jimbaran to Nusa Dua.

Following the cycling segment was the final part of the race, a 10K marathon.

The competition was divided into three categories: individual men and women, as well as corporate teams.

The winner in the men's category was British athlete Daniel Plews, 25, who recorded a fantastic score of 1 hour, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.

In the women's category, Singaporean Kelly Toy, 30, won with a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 23 seconds.

"This is my first visit to this beautiful island of Bali," said Plews. "I did not expect to win this competition, which is very great."

Arie Sukirno, a member of the triathlon steering committee, said the competition needed some improvement here and there, as this was the first time such a race had ever been held on the island.

Even so, the event was successful in that it garnered much enthusiasm from athletes.

"The number of participants reached beyond our target of only 100 athletes," Sukirno said.

Asked whether he would return for next year's triathlon, Plews responded: "I will certainly take part in the 2008 Bali Triathlon and will ask my friends to take part in this exciting event."

Two other contestants, Desak Sri and her husband Joseph Taylor, happily shared their experience.

"My husband took part in the individual triathlon category, but I only participated in a 5-kilometer run," said Desak

Desak and her husband are triathlon regulars, and have participated in the event in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and even France.

"We were very excited when hearing that Bali was holding this event," Desak said enthusiastically.

Badung Regent A.A. Gde Agung said during Sunday's opening ceremony that the event would have a significant impact on the island's tourism industry.

"We have to create innovative and attractive activities in addition to cultural events," Agung said.

Bali has long been known as one of the leading destinations for leisure and business activities, but is not yet known as a sporting destination.

"We have received thousands of holidaymakers and those of the business community who want to hold their business conference here," the regent said, adding that the island hosted only a few international sporting events like tennis and golf."


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