The two-time IRONMAN World Champion from Germany ran away from the field, besting Javier Gómez and Alistair Brownlee in a race for the ages
NELSON MANDELA BAY, South Africa (Sept. 2, 2018) – Jan Frodeno (DEU), the 2015 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Champion, reclaimed the crown from defending champion Javier Gómez (ESP) and dominated a deep field of world-class talent on the final day of the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. Frodeno, who spent his adolescent years in South Africa, secured the victory in a time of 3:36:30 after doing the 1.2-mile swim in 21:53, the 56-mile bike ride in 2:04:28, and the 13.1-miles in a blistering 1:06:33. Approximately 2,900 men were registered to compete in Nelson Mandela Bay as the Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship came to the African continent for the first time.
The wet weather conditions the elite men faced were in stark contrast to the sunny and warm temperatures the women experienced on Saturday, with overcast skies giving way to rain as the swim kicked off at King’s Beach on Sunday morning. After 200 meters, a pack of eight emerged, led by Ben Kanute Geneva, Ill. (USA), including Frodeno, Sam Appleton (AUS), Alistair Brownlee (GBR) and Gómez. Kanute and Frodeno swam shoulder to shoulder for much of the discipline, but it was Kanute who was first out of the Indian Ocean in 21:52, closely followed by Frodeno, Gómez, Brownlee and Appleton.
Onto the early part of the bike, Kanute, Brownlee and Frodeno all rotated turns in the lead, with Gómez and Appleton hanging close behind. Brownlee then took the initiative and pushed his way to the front of the pack, only for Kanute and Frodeno to match the pace as the trio shuffled order through much of the ride. Heading back towards town, the front group order shifted yet again, with Appleton surging to the front for the first time with about 10K to go. Gómez was content to maintain his fifth-place position and as the group approached the second transition, the gap to the next group, was nearly four minutes.
Appleton was the first man into transition, but Frodeno was first onto the run course. A hard-charging Brownlee closed the gap to the front within minutes of the run, overtaking Frodeno, but his lead was short lived. Gómez, who also came flying out of transition, ran up to leader Frodeno’s shoulder and settled into second position. By 10K, Frodeno and Gómez had opened up a 30-second gap over Brownlee, with Kanute back in fourth and Appleton trailing the leaders in fifth position. Frodeno made his move with just a few miles to go, and shortly after, Gomez began to slow, grabbing at a side stitch. This was the motivation Brownlee needed, and set about taking second position for himself. However, the two-time Olympic champion simply couldn’t catch Frodeno, who recorded a 1:06:33 half marathon on his way to victory (3:36:30). Brownlee finished about a minute later in 3:37:41, and Gomez held on for third in 3:38:26. Kanute finished in fourth, holding off a surging charge from Pieter Heemeryk (BEL) who finished fifth.
“I’m very, very happy, what a special day,” said Jan Frodeno post-race. “Coming back home, essentially growing up in South Africa. To come here is special, and to perform in front of a home crowd is just epic. To be world champion is surreal. Somehow today I just had my running legs. I didn’t start celebrating until the last turn—I was just running for my life.”
Top 10 Men Results
|1. Jan Frodeno||DEU||00:21:53||02:04:28||01:06:33||03:36:30|
|2. Alistair Brownlee||GBR||00:21:57||02:04:29||01:07:39||03:37:41|
|3. Javier Gómez Noya||ESP||00:21:56||02:04:36||01:08:15||03:38:26|
|4. Ben Kanute||USA||00:21:52||02:04:36||01:12:37||03:42:43|
|5. Pieter Heemeryck||BEL||00:22:22||02:04:15||01:12:59||03:43:05|
|6. Sam Appleton||AUS||00:21:58||02:04:21||01:13:56||03:43:57|
|7. Adam Bowden||GBR||00:21:59||02:11:55||01:10:14||03:48:16|
|8. Braden Currie||NZL||00:21:57||02:09:14||01:14:05||03:49:16|
|9. Michael Weiss||AUT||00:26:54||02:08:16||01:10:44||03:50:38|
|10. Rodolphe von Berg||USA||00:22:54||02:10:58||01:14:04||03:51:35|
The impressive professional field, along with the age-group athletes tackled a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim that started at King’s Beach and proceeded in an open-water swim in the Indian Ocean, followed by a one-loop, 56-mile (90 km) bike course that took athletes around the Nelson Mandela Bay area. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event was capped off with a two-lap, 13.1-mile (21 km) run that saw athletes finishing at Hobie Beach. In order to qualify for the 2018 Isuzu 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.
The two-day Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship saw approximately 4,500 registered athletes from 102 countries, regions and territories compete in this world-renowned event, marking the largest field of any IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to-date. Athletes ranged in age from 18 to 78. Race weekend continues tomorrow, Sunday, September 2 with the men’s field.
More race weekend details will be available at www.ironman.com/triathlon-news/news.aspx. Full results for the 2018 Isuzu IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship can be found atwww.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/70.3-world-championship/results.aspx. For additional event information, please visit www.ironman.com/worldchampionship70.3. Media inquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
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 reached the African continent for the first time and was hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. The race will now 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® Series, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, premier marathons including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, trail running like Ultra-Trail Australia™, 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 230 events across 53 countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
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