Japanese triathlon superstar Ai Ueda added the individual and mixed team titles at the Asian Beach Games here today to the two titles she won in the same events at the Asian Games in Incheon earlier this year.
In a ruthless consolidation of her status as the continent's dominant performer, she scampered clear of team mate Yuka Sato by 26 seconds over the sprint course, consisting of a 750 metre swim, followed by a 20km cycle and a five kilometre run.
Later on in the day the duo teamed up with male counterparts Hirokatsu Tayama and Yuichi Hosoda to gain the least surprising of victories in the mixed team relay, finishing over two minutes ahead of rivals China and Hong Kong in an 11 strong field.
Ueda will now want to turn her focus beyond Asian soil as she seeks to improve on her 19th place in the International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series in 2014.
But there was disappointment for Japan as well today, as Heo Minho of South Korea took the men's title, meaning that after their clean sweep in the three duathlon events on Saturday (November 15), Japan had to settle for five out of six.
Yet the day was another strong advert for a sport, as well as for the mixed team relay event the ITU are so keen to get on a future Olympic programme.
"This is my first time in Phuket and it is a very nice spot - and for triathlon it is fantastic," said the International Federation's President Marisol Casado after presenting prizes to the winners.
"We have had some top athletes competing and also some young, up-and-coming athletes, so this is very important for our sport."
There was more east Asian success in the water today as Chinese pair Zu Lijun and Fan Yanqiao won the respective 10km marathon swimming events, with Fan adding to the bronze medal she secured over five kilometres.
But Thailand still sit proudly atop the medals table, with the host nation securing two titles in jet skiing and one each in kurash and woodball to put them on 13 golds, seven clear of Japan and Mongolia.
Elsewhere today, there were more victories for Iran and Kazakhstan in wrestling, with Jaber Sadeghzadeh and Olga Kalinini claiming the respective male and female heavyweight honours.
There was also a first gold medal for Lebanon, courtesy of under 90kg kurash player, Nacif Elias.
Other nations to top the podium included Tajikistan in kurash, Indonesia in jet skiing, Vietnam in woodball and both Laos and Singapore in beach pétanque.
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