29 May 2022
The 2022 MetaSprint Series concluded today with a hugely competitive MetaSprint Triathlon, which saw April Rice clinch the women’s title, and Champion of Champions glory, with a scintillating time of 1 hour 4 minutes 45 seconds. Bryce Chong won the men’s title in 1 hour and 55 seconds, closing the gap on Rice with every stride but in the end running out of road.
Now in its 15th year, the MetaSprint Series has proven it lives large in the hearts of Singaporeans, with today’s race welcoming over 1,100 competitors returning to the East Coast Park venue for the first time in three years. The race village was alive on what was a hot and sunny Sunday morning. As well as the sprint-distance contests which give the MetaSprint Series its name, also on the program were the usual Discovery, Youth and Kids races. The series truly is “a fun way to be a triathlete”.
The elite women’s wave kicked off today’s action at 7:15am. The leading ladies started five minutes ahead of the men’s elite wave; this time gap, or “Equaliser”, is what sets the tone for the Champion of Champions element of the series. The Equaliser is calculated on the difference between the men’s and women’s winning times in the previous three years’ races.
The strong swimmers built a commanding lead, taking advantage of the conditions. Singaporean Regina Goh led out of the water with a 4 second advantage over Australian Melanie Speet and a further 41 seconds lead on April Rice from Canada. For Goh and Speet there was trouble lurking behind, as Rice tore through the bike leg, and began to eat into their lead. With a 27:59 bike split she had made up the gap and extended it to a 90 second lead over Speet heading onto the run. Her dominance didn’t end there, with a 21:06 run split she powered to the line taking victory in 1:04:45, nearly 8 minutes ahead of Speet in second (1:12:34) and Goh in third (1:12:47).
Post-race, the smile on Rice’s face said it all as she relayed her race experience.
“The race was fantastic. It was a bit of a rough swim since I haven’t done enough open water swimming to be really confident out there. Regina and Melanie girls crushed it, I was trying to hold their feet. The bike was nice and fast, and the shaded run was appreciated because it was so hot out there. I did my best to hold off the guys, it was kind of nice to have the 5 minute head start, it really pushes you to stay in front. So overall a great race.”
A stellar field of Singapore’s top triathletes toed the men’s elite start line. Among the talented lined up were 2022 MetaSprint Duathlon Champion Michael Cassinides, 2022 MetaSprint Aquathlon Champion Bryce Chong, and 2022 MetaSprint Duathlon Youth Champion Lachlan El-Ansary.
Chong executed a dominating performance, leading from the gun and exiting the swim 25 seconds ahead of teenage prodigy Lachlan El-Ansary, followed by a chase pack a further 4 seconds back including Raphael Chau and Dylan Ang. Onto the bike leg and Chong held his lead, while a group consisting of Chua, Ang, El-Ansary, Jiahao Tan, Luke Chua and Ben Khoo tried to close the gap.
Chong hit T2 and onto the run course, where he consolidated his lead over the two lap 5km course. To the cheers of the crowd, he hit the finish tape in 1:00:55, 33 seconds ahead of the fast-finishing Ben Koo in second place (1:01:28) and third place Luke Chua who filled up the podium.
Chong described his joy of racing again at East Coast Park “It was a good event, with a mass start for the elite. It’s been two and a half years without a mass start, doing hybrid races, with stationary trainers and racing on the track or self-propelled treadmills. But I do miss the course, so it’s nice to be back and get the win.”
Khoo shared his favourite moment “I really enjoyed the bike today, the course was nice and smooth. You can just put your head down and hammer. I enjoy going fast once in a while.”
While the elite athletes were swapping race stories in the recovery area, the rest of the huge contingent of athletes were either still on course or making final preparations; there were 26 different wave starts across all the events on the race card. Of the over 1,100 competitors, some 19 percent were taking part in their first triathlon, while 62 nationalities and 43 schools and triathlon clubs were represented.
Joining the action were over 100 Youth participants. Open to 12-to-15 year-olds, the Youths raced over the Discovery distance, which incorporates a 250m swim, a 12km bike and a 2.5km run. These Youth races have always been hugely inspiring and highly competitive affairs over the years, and today was no different.
The fastest male Youth this morning was Lucas Bateman, who took the race by the horns early and crossed the line in 39:00. He overcame a battle with Kyan Low who finished one minute back in second and Val Schweitzer a further 51 seconds adrift in third.
Luisa Palmer was the overall female Youth champ, leading from the start and finishing with a time of 43:12. She held off Eloise Kerleroux who was 2 minutes behind in second, with Mia Bowman coming through as the third-fastest girl.
The youngest triathletes competed in the Kids events for boys and girls aged 8 to 11, tasked with completing a 150 swim, a 6km bike leg and 1.5km run.
Cartner Kneale used his swim/run combination to secure victory in the boys event, winning in 25 minutes 41 seconds, 40 seconds ahead of James Hurley and Jasper Morgan-Cheng who claimed the podium spots.
Nur Isabella Schiering took the win in the girls race in 29:48, nearly two minutes ahead of second place Fuyubi Langendorf and Miho Tanaka in third.
A big thank you to Sport Singapore, our partners and sponsors, and volunteers for their support of the event.
Full results from today’s MetaSprint Triathlon can be found at https://www.metasprintseries.com/race-results. Overall series rankings across all the events, categories and genders can be found on the website too, and among the notable highlights are Tribal Triathlon Club clinching the today’s Club Champion title.
While the MetaSprint Series won’t return until February 2023, top-class sporting action continues in June with Run As One Singapore from June 30 – July 3. Go to www.runasonesg.com for full information and to register for either the 13.5km or 6km run distance. There is also a team competition for those wanting to run with friends or teammates.