From left: Pro-athletes Radka Vodickova (CZE), Liz Blatchford (GBR), Craig Alexander (AUS), Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) and emcee Pete Murray.
Putrajaya, Malaysia (April 11, 2014) - IRONMAN Malaysia today hosted the professional press conference for IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya.
Geoff Meyer, CEO IRONMAN Asia Pacific was in attendance along with Hon. Tan Sri Dato' Seri (DR), Aseh Bin CHE MAT, President Putrajaya Corporation, Mr. Zulkefli Sharif, CEO of Malaysia Major Events, Hon Dato’ Mokhtar Bin Kamirun, Vice President, Putrajaya Corporation and Dr. Sarinder Kumari, Director National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) Tourism.
In his welcome message to the media and guests Meyer highlighted on the new IRONMAN Malaysia office.
“The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya heralds a new beginning of IRONMAN in Malaysia and I am honoured to be here today and excited for the race weekend ahead. It has been a long road to get to the start line and I would like to thank our new IRONMAN Malaysia team and key personnel from our Australian division who have been on site working closely with the new team from day one and we are very proud to now have a new IRONMAN base here in Malaysia.”
Hon. Tan Sri Dato' Seri (DR), Aseh Bin CHE MAT, President Putrajaya Corporation expressed his excitement at being able to showcase Putrajaya.
“We are looking forward to showcasing all our precious and valuable assets in Putrajaya, which being dubbed as “World’s 1st Intelligent Garden City”, to all who patronize this event, especially during this world-class event, as well as demonstrating the very best of our Malaysian hospitality to all of you here.”
Professional athletes on the panel for a Q&A were, Craig Alexander (AUS), Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS), Liz Blatchford (AUS)and Radka Vodickova (CZE).
Alexander commented that is great to have more opportunities in this (Asian) region for world-class events. “It’s looking very tidy out there and is going to be outstanding on Sunday.”
Taking part in the team event Alexander has more time than usual to for fill his role as IRONMAN ambassador.
“Sometimes when racing as an athlete you are not as accessible so this weekend give me the chance to have fun and take part with a couple of Malaysian’s in a relay team and get to see more how the events works. It also lets me help promote a new event in a region that is simply exploding.”
Post presser Alexander was swamped by a frenzy of Malaysians hunting for autographs and photographs. “It is humbling, I started out doing this because I love it and still love it. If people recognise me, I love that.”
Australian Brad ‘Sticksy’ Kahlefeldt has recently made the transition from ITU racing up to the 70.3 distance. With Craig Alexander taking part in a relay team on Sunday Kahlefeldt now leads the charge for the professional men’s race. “Its really easy to travel up to Malaysia from Australia. Great location and venue I am looking forward to Sunday.
Liz Blatchford like Kahlefeldt has recently made the transition from short course racing to 70.3 and IRONMAN. “I loved ITU but I have loved the swop. It seems to suit me. It’s great to be here and is the first mail race of the season for me”.
Originally from the UK, Blatchford now resides in Australia and races for Australia admits to liking the heat. “Personally I love the heat. I would advise be smart on hydration and don't over do it early on otherwise you may find yourself walking in the run.”
Radka Vodickova (CZE) spends a lot of time in Malaysia training and got a rousing round of applause when she likened Malaysia to being her second home. “I hope I don’t disappoint all of my friends here, I have trained on the course a lot, its fast and smooth and looks beautiful”.
Race Day starts Sunday April 13 at 7:15. Catch all the action via @IRONMANLive.
For additional information on IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya, please visit www.ironmanputrajaya.com.
FOr more photos from the press conference, please click HERE.
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