Sherpa aims to repeat win at Borneo TMBT
After his great and relatively easy victory in the Magnificent Merapoh Trail three weeks ago, Alessandro Sherpa returns to the scene where it all began for him 12 months ago. Borneo TMBT Ultra was his maiden trail run, having come to Malaysia with a solid background in mountainbike racing. Sherpa not only took part, he even won the 100k together with local star Milton Amat. Tomorrow he enters the race in Sabah again as points leader in the Asia Trail Master Championship - and Amat, who is doing well by himself in ATM this season - will again be one his rivals for the win.
Borneo TMBT Ultra is now back in Asia Trail Master after a three year hiatus. Back in 2015, David Simpat and Joanna Kruk took the 100k race wins. Interestingly, both feature on tomorrow's start list as well. Simpat for sure will be one of the main competitors for Sherpa. Kruk, however, has had to withdraw from the event. The police woman in Adelaide did not manage to get leave from her professional duties this weekend.
This is one of Southeast Asia's oldest events and attracts runners whom you do not often find back in other races during the year. Surprises can therefore always occur, although Manila-based Dane Kristian Joergensen won't finish far from the podium tomorrow. Japan's Hisashi Kitamura could get close as well, three weeks after a very strong run and third place in Merapoh. Kitamura is seventh in the current points standings, and another strong result could propel him up to as high as fourth. Brunei's Alexander Chung has always been good in his country's Beach Bunch Trail Challenge. How will he fare in Sabah?
In the women's we have of course the Lintanga sisters on home soil. Adelinah will be the only one on the 100k, though, as Jassica opts for the 50k this weekend. Adelinah got second in Merapoh three weekends ago, proving her good form, but most likely the Okinawa-based American Corinne Williams will the one to beat in the absence of Kruk. Williams won the 50/50 9 Dragons Ultra earlier this year and also got third place in the Izu Trail Journey last December. Victory in TMBT would push her inside the women's championship top ten.