Gómez’s come-from-behind win marks his second IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title
CHATTANOOGA (Sept. 10, 2017; IRONMAN, A Wanda Sports Holding Company) — Today, on the final day of the ICY HOT® IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Javier Gómez (ESP) ran his way to victory with a time of 3:49:45. Entering the run portion of the race, Gómez faced a four-minute deficit, but by mile-eight he made his pass on American Ben Kanute to seal his second IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship victory. Closing out the first-ever two-day IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, approximately 2,800 male athletes were registered to compete in the ICY HOT IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
As the professionals entered the water, Kanute and Gómez immediately put a gap on the rest of the field, making use of their short-course race experience. Once on the bike, Kanute rocketed to first, while Gómez managed to hang onto second until halfway through the bike, when strong cyclists began to dig. Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Maurice Clavel (GER) jostled for second through the latter half of the bike, as Kanute stretched his lead to four minutes on the front. Out onto the two-loop run, Gómez immediately began chipping into Kanute’s lead. Kanute held on until the momentous pass was made at mile eight. The 2012 Olympic silver medalist ran down the finish chute, clocking a time that proved he was back to form after his injury a year ago that forced him from the Olympic Games in Rio.
After a grueling performance, Gómez was welcomed at the finish line by a supportive crowd and yesterday’s women’s ICY HOT IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf (CHE). Gómez is the most decorated ITU athlete of all time, with a record five ITU world titles to accompany 13 ITU World Triathlon Series wins. His half marathon time in Mont Tremblant at the 2014 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship still ranks as the fastest IRONMAN 70.3 run in history (1:09:27).
“I wasn’t expecting [to run] 1:10 [this year] and had to take some risks,” said Gómez. “I had my racing strategy in mind, knowing that Ben (Kanute) was there and a very fast racer, so I warmed up in the water a bit more than usual for an IRONMAN 70.3 race. I knew I would need a good start to stay with him.”
“I just went for it from the beginning. I didn’t think too much, I just tried to find a hard pace that I felt I could keep for the whole race. When I eventually caught him, I didn’t have much left, but luckily it was enough to pass him and take the win.”
Giving up only a minute and-a-half to the Spaniard, Kanute held on for second—the best finish for an American male since Chris Lieto in 2011. IRONMAN world record holder Tim Don joined the short-course specialists on the podium, working his way from sixth into third. Sam Appleton (AUS) finished in fourth, while Kienle rounded out the top five.
|1. Javier Gómez||ESP||00:24:08||02:12:27||01:10:29||03:49:44|
|2. Ben Kanute||USA||00:24:03||02:08:10||01:16:23||03:51:06|
|3. Tim Don||GBR||00:24:58||02:11:12||01:13:04||03:51:59|
|4. Sam Appleton||AUS||00:25:01||02:11:01||01:14:36||03:53:32|
|5. Sebastian Kienle||DEU||00:28:22||02:07:45||01:16:02||03:54:44|
|6. Maurice Clavel||DEU||00:25:07||02:11:03||01:16:33||03:55:17|
|7. Tyler Butterfield||BMU||00:25:18||02:10:40||01:17:26||03:56:20|
|8. Andreas Dreitz||DEU||00:26:39||02:09:16||01:17:14||03:56:33|
|9. Ivan Tutukin||RUS||00:26:24||02:15:00||01:12:48||03:56:53|
|10. Pieter Heemeryck||BEL||00:25:27||02:11:02||01:18:26||03:57:36|
The impressive field of athletes tackled a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim in the Tennessee River, followed by a 56-mile (90 km) bicycle ride through Lookout Mountain and into downtown Chattanooga, capped with a 13.1-mile (21 km) run through Downtown Chattanooga along the Tennessee Riverwalk and Riverfront Parkway, finishing at Ross’s landing. In order to qualify for the 2017 ICY HOT IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, more than 185,000 age-group athletes competed to earn slots at over 100 IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide.
Yesterday, September 9, Daniela Ryf (CHE) claimed the women’s 2017 ICY HOT IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title. As the weekend draws to a close, approximately 4,500 athletes from 90 countries, regions and territories competed in this world-renowned event, marking the largest field of any IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to-date.
About the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. This year, the event will return to the United States, taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee and will become a two-day race for the first time. More than 185,000 athletes participated in a season of qualifying races for the championship, a series which consists of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Approximately 4,500 athletes from around the world were registered to compete in this prestigious race. Participants in the ICY HOT® IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship ranged in age from 18 to 85-plus, and represented over 90 countries, territories and regions. In 2018, the event reaches the African continent for the first time and will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. The race will then move to Nice, France for 2019.
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series®, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and other multisport races. IRONMAN’s events, together with all other Wanda Sports Holdings events, provide more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Beginning as a single race, IRONMAN has grown to become a global sensation with more than 200 events across 50 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
About Wanda Sports Holdings
Wanda Sports Holdings is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.
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