Stiff competition and strong winds at IRONMAN 70.3 Bahrain were no match for Sam Appleton (AUS) as he took 3rd place at this year’s 70.3 Middle East Championship. The desert race was the fourth time Appleton won a podium spot in a season that started with a 1st place victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires.
“Great to watch Appo close out 2016 with another strong performance. Out of the eight 70.3s that Appo raced this year, he always finished in the top ten, half of the time in the top three,” said Human Interest Group Director Michael Cardoza. “This season, especially here in Bahrain and his first place in Argentina, is another sign that Appo is securing his reputation as a reliably strong and formidable presence on the 70.3 circuit.”
Demonstrating his power in the water, Appleton was part of the lead pack on the swim, finishing 3rd with a time of 25:03. The Aussie continued his lead on the bike, gaining speed and edging closer to the top spot with a time of 2:01:10, the 2nd fastest split for the pro men. Appleton next kept a steady – but fast – pace on the run for a strong finish; his run clocked at 1:13:29. About three minutes behind victor Terrenzo Bozzone, Appleton crossed the finish line with a time of 3:44:10 to take 3rd place.
In a season bookended with IRONMAN 70.3 podium wins, Appleton racked up four top three wins: 1st at IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires, 2nd at Chattanooga, and 3rd in Boulder and Bahrain. He also took 5th place at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships and 4th at 70.3 Vineman. Appo returns to Boulder for a brief off-season before resuming his training for 2017 that already includes a big focus on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga.
IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain
Terrenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:41:32
Steffen Justus (DEU) 3:42:26
Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:44:10