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Currie and Kessler retain Taupo titles

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/12/2016

Braden Currie and Meredith Kessler have defended their titles in the New Zealand Ironman 70.3 race in Taupo.

In the men's race, Currie was fifth at the end of the bike leg and a strong run gave him a 33-second victory over fellow Kiwi Mike Phillips.

Wanaka-based Currie hit the front on the run just before halfway and claimed victory in 3:52:44 from Christchurch-based Phillips.

A three-time Coast to Coast winner, the 30-year-old farmer made a quick transition to Ironman racing a year ago and is continuing to impress.

In the women's race, American Kessler made it five straight Ironman New Zealand titles in Taupo but won with just an eight second margin over Laura Siddall of Britain.

Siddall put in a powerful final 5km in the run but Kessler held off the challenge and stopped the clock in 4:22:35.

"Of my seven wins here in Taupo, that was by far the hardest. Laura was so close. Another 100m I think she could have beaten me," Kessler said.

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