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May 26, 2011 RT P26
OK, THAT'S one all. Now for the ironman
decider in Cairns on June 5.
Good mates CPLs Pete Hughes, of 22SQN,
and Owen Yabsley, of 38SQN, crossed the line
in a photo finish to the triathlon on the first day
of competition at the Arafura Games in Darwin
on May 8.
CPL Hughes was judged just ahead in a time
of 1hr 49min 29sec -- which gave him fourth
place and CPL Yabsley fifth.
Cast your minds back to the national
Olympic-distance triathlon championships
in Sydney in April, and the positions were
CPL Yabsley was the joint winner of the
ADF title there and CPL Hughes came in next,
two minutes behind.
The men have known each other for about
four years, having worked alongside each other
at RAAF Base Townsville.
"He was the one who persuaded me to have a
go at triathlon," CPL Yabsley said.
To start with, "he was heaps better than me."
That's certainly changed this year. The two
men's main goal is the gruelling Defence iron-
man distance championship in Cairns on June 5.
How gruelling? Well, try a 3.8km swim,
180km bike ride and 42.2km run for size.
By comparison, Arafura was a walk in the
park -- a 500m swim, a 40km ride and a 10km
run around the streets of Darwin. The humidity,
though, will have given them a taste of things to
Although CPL Hughes stayed ahead of his
friend throughout most of the event, he had
cause for concern near the end.
"He was catching me throughout the run and
I could hear him coming up behind me with
about 1500m to go," he said.
"As soon as we saw the finish line it was
game on and for about 500m we were flat out
sprinting until we crossed the line. When he
pulled up next to me we shared some words and
compared each other's heart rates."
CPL Hughes had gained some distance on
the swim leg, but CPL Yabsley made ground in
the bike leg.
"When it came to the run he had about a
minute on me but I was gradually making time,"
CPL Yabsley said.
"By the second lap I managed to make up
a fair bit of ground and by the third lap we had
pulled up next to each other."
In front of 7000 people at TIO
Stadium, disabled athlete FSGT
Tony Benfer carried the flag to
lead the Australian Defence
Organisation team of 133 at the
Hot on the heels of being named
in the Australian squad, LAC
Matthew Stokes was ecstatic after
collecting a bronze medal in clay
target shooting at the Arafura
Games in Darwin.
YOU CAN TELL THEY ARE CLOSE: CPLs Pete Hughes, left. and Owen Yabsley cross the finish line
almost locked together in the Arafura Games triathlon.
Photo: CPL Zenith King
It was third
This year he
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