LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 4 (PNA) -- More world-class triathletes are expected to come to the province of Albay to join the internationally renowned XTERRA Philippines.
It will be the 8th time for the Philippines to host the international sports competition and the 2nd for the province.
The sports event is jointly sponsored by the Provincial Government of Albay under Governor Joey Sarte Salceda and Sunrise Event headed by Wilfred Uytengsu Jr.
Salceda said the foreign participants will come from 15 countries, mostly from the United States, Japan, Australia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Guam, France, Hongkong, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland and Vietnam.
Zaldy Santillan of the Governor's Office, said there are more foreign participants this year because they like the venue of the competition.
Santillan said the foreigners claim that the hurdles in Albay are more challenging than those in the other parts of the country or outside.
He said their last record shows that that there are about 270 triathletes participating in the following categories: full, lite, pro, ASEAN elite and Filipino elite categories.
The full category has 174 entries while in lite category, there 39.
The number of contestants is expected to shoot up during the registration starting Friday up to Sunday although the online registration is already close.
Santillan confirmed the arrival of defending champion in the male category Bradley Weiss of South Africa.
Flora Duffy, the champion in the female category, will not be able to come as she is busy practicing for the World Olympics that will be held in Brazil in October.
Santillan said the XTERRA competition will follow the same route from Sto. Domingo town to Legazpi City and the finish line in Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga.
It will be divided into three: swimming through a 7-8-kilometer distance, biking in a distance of 35-40 kilometers; and running to the finish line by negotiating a route of 8-10 kilometers.
Salceda said all concerned departments and units of the Provincial Government of Albay are ready for the competition like in the aspects of security, security, medical and emergency concerns for the 8th XTERRA Philippines.
Dave Nicholas, XETRRA world director, said it is more fun, challenging and exciting to hold the event in Albay compared to other places owing largely to the warm hospitality of the Albayanos and moreover, he said, the public participates in the fun -- down to the barangay level.(PNA) FFC/FGS/NIM/CBD