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Last updateThu, 30 Mar 2017 12am

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    Wednesday, March 29, 2017-9:22:30P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

NZ’s Osborne is XTERRA Saipan’s new champion

NEW Zealand’s Sam Osborne who finished his first XTERRA just three years ago is the new champion on Saipan beating title holder, Australia’s Brodie Gardner by huge gap on Saturday.

Click to enlarge
South Africa’s Bradley Weiss tries to keep his shoes dry on the beach.
New Zealand’s Sam Osborne bikes downhill in Chinatown, Saipan during the 16th XTERRA Saipan on Saturday.
Australia’s Ben Allen speeds up downhill.  Photos by Emmanuel T. Erediano
The swim was “pretty rough” and the heat was unrelenting, he said, but the 24-year-old tri-athlete from Rotorua, New Zealand found it “brilliant” to win the 2017 Saipan XTERRA.

He won first place overall clocking in at 02:34:28, much faster than Gardner’s winning time of 2:52:46 last year.

On Saturday, Gardner fell to No. 8 as he finished with a 02:55:58, a little bit slower than his 2016 race.

It is Osborne’s first time on Saipan and his fourth year to race a complete XTERRA, so he’s looking forward to Asian tour where he hopes to add another title to his belt.

Osborne kept pace behind 2015 champion, Australia’s Ben Allen in the swim, completing it in 19:18 and trailed South Africa’s Bradley Weiss in the bike, with a 1:24:06, until he came to what he does best—running. He turned out to be the fastest runner completing the run course in 50:15.

“I am just excited to get here. The island is fantastic. The course is hot very hot. The run course is hard to describe it’s a fantastic course, over all,” he said.

Marianas Visitor Authority and the NMI Cycling Federation found it another successful event.

NMICF President Vince Seman said 116 tri-athletes, visiting and locals raced in the 16th annual XTERRA Saipan that makes a huge presence in the XTERRA world-wide. Since XTERRA has been going on for 22 years, so the island’s XTERRA is one of the first “off the ground” events and one of the first in the Pacific region.

Winning the second place was Weiss with a total time of 2:42:18. He biked the fastest with a 1:23:44. His swim time was 20:53 placing him at No. 6.

Taking the third place over all was Allen with a 2:43:16. He led the swim course with a 19:17 and engaged Osborne and Weiss in a close bike race.

Settling for the fourth and fifth place were New Zealand’s Kieran McPherson and Austria’s Markus Benesch who clocked in at 2:48:11 and 2:53:47 respectively.

Colorado U.SA.’s Will Kelsay and Japan’s Yuichi Hosoda raced almost neck-and-neck approaching the finish line. Kelsay got there first with a 2:54:39 to place sixth and Hosoda, 02:54:51 for the seventh place.

Behind Gardner, to place ninth overall was Russia’s Aleksandr Dorovskikh who clocked in at 02:56:48. Austria’s Dominik Wychera came 10th with a 3:00:50, followed by Philippines Joseph Miller who completed the race in 3:08:08.