Kristine L Ming

Athletes from across the globe flock to Eilat for Israman

Petr Vabrousek of the Czech Republic guaranteed on Wednesday he would win Israman Negev Eilat for a third straight year this Friday.

Over 1,600 athletes, an increase of 400 from last year, from 26 countries will take part in the many events, including the Ironman triathlon, which consists of a 3.8 kilometer swim, 180 km bike ride and a full marathon (42.2 km).

Vabrousek won last year in a time of 9:55.30 hours and his main rival this time around is expected to be Sergio Marques of Portugal.

“I beat Vabrousek a few months ago in a long-distance triathlon championship and I hope I beat him again,” said Marques on Wednesday.

“Petr has an advantage as he knows the route, but I hope to surprise him.”

As well as the main event, there will also be a half distance competition (swim – 1.9 km, bike – 91 km, run – 21.1 km) and a relay race in which three athletes will team up, each contesting one of the legs.

There will also be several competitions for children aged 8-15, making Israman Negev Eilat an event for the entire family.

The races will all end at a special finish line set up opposite Royal Beach Hotel, with the main competitions to last from 4.5 to 17 hours.

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