Webber shows his mettle in S'pore fitness challenge

Webber shows his mettle in S'pore fitness challenge
PHOTO: Webber shows his mettle in S'pore fitness challenge

SINGAPORE - While most Formula One drivers were still asleep, recuperating from a gruelling two-hour race the previous night, Red Bull's Mark Webber was participating in a fitness challenge yesterday noon at the helipad atop Swissotel Stamford.

The Australian, who is renowned as a fitness enthusiast, was using the event to unveil Qantas as the latest sponsor of his own endurance competition, the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge.

Looking fresh despite racing for two hours on Sunday night at the SingTel Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, the 36-year-old was put through a circuit consisting of sit-up, cycling and shuttle run.

Competing with Singapore triathlete Willie Loo and Power 98 deejay Emily Teng - who plans to climb Mt Everest next month - Webber still managed to emerge tops in all three fitness tests.

Webber, who is also an ambassador for Qantas, then announced with the carrier's regional general manager (South East Asia) Nick McGlynn that three Singapore athletes will be picked to compete in his gruelling five-day challenge race.

Beginning on Nov 28, the Tasmania Challenge will see participants mountain biking, kayaking, running, trekking and navigating over 350km of tough terrain across the island of Tasmania. Proceeds from the race go to the Mark Webber Challenge Foundation, an initiative in support of selected Australian charities.

Said Webber: "I'm not only grateful but also very excited to have Qantas supporting my personal endeavours; from this challenge to my ambitions to get my pilot's licence.

"As I started to do well out of my own profession, it made me want to give something back and to help people back home."

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