By KEREM HASAN
AN INTERNATIONAL Ironman triathlon – changed to a duathlon at the last minute due to adverse weather -- saw a Turkish Cypriot drop out midway with hypothermia while a fellow countryman finished 80th in his age-group in the event in Cork, Ireland.
Showcasing the rugged landscape of the region on Sunday, the triathlon was to have featured a 3.8km sea-swim from the sandy Claycastle beach followed by a 180km bike race along coastal roads and fishing communities of Ireland’s south coast before ending with a 42.2km run through the fifth century town of Youghal.
The event, however, had to be reduced to two events rather than three due to bad weather, with the swimming section eventually cancelled.
Taking part from the TRNC alongside 1,837 athletes from 60 countries was Ares Sports Club’s Cem Dağdelen and Hüseyin Arhan.
There was drama due to the adverse weather, with 20 per cent of the athletes failing to finish – although Mr Dağdelen managed to do so. Mr Arhan, however, suffered hypothermia during the bike racing and was forced to drop out after 150km.
Heavy rain continued non-stop for 10 hours, beginning at 6am, allied to wind speeds of 25km and cold conditions.
Mr Dağdelen, 47, who has entered more Ironman triathlons than any other TRNC athlete, managed to finish in 491st place overall in a time of 11 hours, 33 minutes and 54 seconds.
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