Caroline Steffen claimed third in the Samui Triathlon.
Caroline Steffen claimed third in the Samui Triathlon. Warren Lynam

Another podium finish for tri athlete Caroline Steffen

ALEXANDRA Headland's Caroline Steffen finished third at the Samui Triathlon yesterday, while Belinda Granger of Noosa was fourth.

Steffen won the event last year, but the Swiss-born athlete was this year trumped by Melissa Hauschildt and Australian Liz Blatchford.

More than 200 competitors from 22 countries took part in the 4km swim, 122.65km cycle ride and 30km run.

The men's race saw a contentious result, after several of the professionals went the wrong way on the bike. 

Australia's best-placed triathlon finisher at the London Olympics, Courtney Atkinson, won his first long distance event. Fellow Aussie Allen Ben was second while Spain's Marcel Zamora Perez was third.

Debate surrounding the result will continue  today, with Twitter buzzing with comments from athletes and onlookers.

The Coast's own David Dellow was caught up in the navigation error, with fellow athlete Paul Ambrose claiming they were two of only a few who did the correct course. The group rode about 20 extra kilometres in nearly 40 degree heat.

Ambrose tweeted "raced over 6hrs in insanely (sic) heat, only to be cheated by the sport I love".

Ironman world champion Pete Jacobs commented "disgraceful news @samuitriathlon when athletes cut a course short and still take home the price money".