PROs & KOLs 2019

Our Pro-athletes and KOLs list of Challenge Vietnam 2019. Who will make their return for 2020 and become the Champa warrior?

Mitchell Paul Robins | PRO

Nationality: Australian

Mitch Robins grew up in Port Macquarie, home of Ironman Australia, and was inspired to take up triathlons when he was 19. Mitch Robins is well-known in the Asian triathlon scene; He was crowned the champion of Challenge Vietnam 2016.


  • 1st – Challenge Vietnam 2016

  • 1st – Challenge Iskandar Puteri 2017

  • 1st – Tri-United Standard Philippines 2017

  • 1st – Herbalife Bali International Triathlon 2017

  • 5th – Ironman 70.3 Xiamen 2018

  • 7th – Ironman Australia 2018

Mitchell Robins - Challenge Vietnam

Levi Maxwell | PRO

Nationality: Australian

Levi Maxwell is a professional Australian triathlete who has been competing for over 10 years. He came from very humble beginnings to fight his way into the competitive world of triathlons, and managed 2nd place of Challenge Vietnam 2016.


  • 1st – Challenge Shepparton 2018

  • 1st – 2XU Triathlon Series Race 1 2018

  • 1st – Australian Duathlon Championship 2018

  • 2nd – Challenge Vietnam 2016

  • 2nd – Challenge Melbourne Half 2018

  • 8th – Ironman Australia 2018

Alexander Polizzi | PRO

Nationality: Australian

His achievements:

  • 2nd Sunlife 5150 Cebu 2019
  • 1st Battle of Balonne 2018
  • 3rd Ironman Taiwan 2018
  • 5th Tri League Bagnsean 2018
  • 5th Ironman 70.3 Thailand 2017
  • 2nd Krabi International 2017
  • 5th Ironman 70.3 Bintan 2017
  • 4th Challenge Vietnam 2016
  • 4th Ironman 70.3 Bintan 2016

Johanna Solano | KOL

Nationality: Costa Rican

Johanna Solano officially confirmed to join IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam for the 2nd time.

Who is she?

  • Miss Latin America 2009, Miss Costa Rica 2011, Top 10 Miss Universe 2011
  • She is a super model and also a well-known triathlete. She has been in many triathlons, and made the podium many times.
  • She finished IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam 2016 in 5 hours 52 minutes and 3 seconds.

Coming back to Nha Trang city this year, Miss Costa Rica will inspire Vietnamese women to participate in sports, especially triathlons:

“You only have one body and you need to take action as soon as you can! Women like us should take better care of our body and one day, it will pay off!”

Johana Solano - Challenge Vietnam Triathlon


Nationality: Vietnamese

To Phuong, IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam 2019’s ambassador is calling out to all Vietnamese women to take the challenge of Nha Trang:

I am blessed with a sport that allowed an ordinary women like me to do the extraordinary. I was taught when I was a little girl, I can walk, limp or even crawl but NEVER GIVE UP. Along the journey with Challenge Vietnam, I would like to encourage other women to take on the challenge and train with me. You can do it because nothing is impossible for women!

Achievements 2018:

  • 2nd fastest Vietnamese female in Ironman
  • 2nd place in Coupe de Hue cycling race
  • 2nd place in Highland cycling race
To Phuong - Challenge Vietnam Triathlon

Emily Donker | PRO

Nationality: Australian

Emily Donker has the potential to land on IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam’s podium. Check-out her achievements:

  • 1st Tweed Coast Enduro 2019
  • 3rd Hell of the West 2019
  • 5th Tauranga Half 2019
  • 5th AG Standard Distance World Championships 2018
  • 2nd Noosa Tri 2018

Coming to Vietnam for the first time, she wants to send her message to Vietnamese female athletes: “Race smart and control your effort so that you can finish strong, but also be confident in your training and race hard so you can know you’ve finished to the best of your ability. Develop a race plan that plays to your strengths – get through the tougher sections, so you can have realistic expectations of your performance; push and shine through the rest of the race, and enjoy the experience.”

Hannah Wells | PRO

Nationality: Australian

If you are aiming for the podium, you’d better watch out for this this triathlete – Hannah Wells:

  • 1st Challenge Wanaka 2019
  • 1st Tauranga Half Ironman
  • 1st New Zealand Half iron distance National Champ 2019
  • 2nd Western Sydney Ironman 70.3 2018
  • 3rd Sunshine Coast Ironman 70.3 2018

Talking about her secret to reaching the finish line, she said: “What motivates me to get to the finish line is the opportunity to put on display all of the hard training that has gone into preparing for the race, and to get the most out of myself.”

Steve McKenna | PRO

Nationality: Australian

Steve McKenna is another athlete that we think has the potential to be a champion this year. Let’s check out his profile:

  • First ever triathlon in 2015 (no swimming/cycling experience)
  • Gained Professional license within 12 months
  • 5th Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica
  • 9th Ironman 70.3 Boulder
  • 9th Ironman 70.3 Racine (Championship event)
  • 2nd Murrayman long course triathlon 2017/2018
  • 6th ITU Oceania Olympic Distance Championships
  • South Australian Triathlete of the Year 2016/2017/2018
  • 1st South Australian Olympic distance and sprint distance 2016/2017/2018

When asked why he chose to come from so far to visit Nha Trang Vietnam, Steven McKenna said: “I have never been to Vietnam and have heard amazing things. I also want to support Challenge races all over the globe as they are great for the athletes – they are my favorite races for sure.”

Samuel Tebeck | PRO

Nationality: Australian

Get to know the youngest pro-athlete at IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam – Samuel Tebeck: “I previously raced motocross and began to enjoy the cross-training more than racing a motorbike. After a year of running, I switched into triathlon in 2011 and have not looked back since. My love for the sport extend to my career where I am currently studying for a PhD in sports physiology, investigating the effect of heat stress in cyclists.”

Tebeck’s accolades include:

  • 3rd South Australian Long Course Champion
  • 4th Challenge Half Distance top 10 finisher

David Mainwaring | PRO

Nationality: Australian

His achievements:

  • 1st Challenge Jeju
  • 1st Western Sydney 70.3
  • 2nd Challenge Melbourne

Matt Lewis | PRO

Nationality: Australian

His achievements:

7th – Husky Ultimate Long Course 2019

1st Olympic Distance – Elite Energy Nowra 2019

7th – 70.3 Taupo 2018

6th – Challenge Shepparton 2018

1st – Elite Energy Huskisson Sprint 2018

1st half distance – LCW Jervis Bay 2018

6th Husky Ultimate 2018

2nd – Challenge Melbourne 2018

1st  – Hamilton Island Half-Marathon 2018

Lisa Tyack | PRO

Nationality: Australian


4th – Davao 70.3 2018

3rd – Busselton 70.3 2018

4th – Japan 70.3 2018

4th – Bintan 70.3 2018

Jarrod Harvey | PRO

Nationality: Australian


2nd – Ironman Taiwan 2018

Laura Armstrong | PRO

Nationality: New Zealander



5th- Busselton 70.3

6th – Challenge Melbourne

1st – Amateur Western Sydney 70.3

1st – AG standard distance world championships

1st – Cairns 70.3

Chang Tuan Chun | PRO

Nationality: Taiwanese

Achievements: 5th – Asian Games

Laura Dennis | PRO



3rd – Bintan 70.3 2017

3rd – Geelong 70.3 2018 

3rd – Taiwan 70.3 2018

5th – Asia Pacific Championships

3rd – Taupo 70.3 2018

3rd – China 70.3 2019

Kieran McPherson | PRO

NationalityNew Zealander


Pan American Xterra Tour Champion 2018

Xterra Victoria Champion

Xterra Brazil Champion

Xterra Argentina Champion

Xterra Thailand Champion