KUNDASANG: Spain’s Kilian Jornet Burgada won the 25th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon here yesterday, dethroning last year’s winner, Marco De Gasperi of Italy.
Burgada clocked 2:37.04s ahead of De Gasperi who came in second with a time of 2:37.48s, just 44 seconds shy of Burgada’s time.
Burgada’s countryman Luis Alberto Hernando came in third, clocking 2:42.36s.
However, De Gasperi was the first to reach the summit in 1:37.49s, earning him a gold medal, but slipped and fell half way during the race down, giving the advantage to Burgada, who earned US$4,500 for the victory.
De Gasperi took home US$4,000, while Hernando settled for US$3,500.
“Marco ran a very good race. But I am very happy that I won. In fact, this is my best time in the Climbathon,” Burgada told reporters after crossing the finish line.
The 23-year-old student of sports science had won the Climbathon title twice, in 2007 and 2009.
This year’s race marked the last time the Climbathon was being held in its traditional route which included the 4,095-metre summit.Next year, a new route will be introduced and said to be even more challenging.
The new route is longer by two kilometres, passing through Layang-Layang at the height of 2,702.3m before before descending to Mesilau and Kundasang. — Bernama