Germany was well represented in the 2019 Kona Ironman World Championships as countrymen Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug won the pro men and pro women divisions, respectively.
Frodeno’s time of 7:51:13 gave him his third Ironman World Championship title and broke the course record in Kona, Hawaii. The previous record of 7:52:39 was set by 2017 and 2018 champion Patrick Lange, who dropped out during the bike portion.
A 47:31 swimming portion put Frodeno in second before a 4:16:03 bike leg. His 2:42:43 marathon propelled him to the top of the podium. Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic triathlon champion who won the 2015 and 2016 Kona titles, was derailed by injuries the last two years.
“For all the nerves and all the hard work, it’s just the best feeling to be back here in great shape,” said Frodeno, who made it six straight titles for German men. “People shout ‘Get the [course record] time!’ I’m like, bloody time, I just want to finish.
“Honestly I don’t care about the record. … It’s the Wimbledon of our sport. It’s the greatest feeling in the world. After walking [during the marathon] here two years ago, it’s a blooding good feeling to run four-minute [kilometers].”
American Tim O’Donnell, who finished second, was the only other competitor to finish the 140.6-mile triathlon in under eight hours with a time of 7:59:41. O’Donnell posted the best finish by an American in five years. It’s been 17 years since an American man or woman won, the longest drought for the host nation in Ironman Kona’s 42-year history.
Brit Alistair Brownlee, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic triathlon champion, was 21st in his Kona debut. Brownlee said he would decide after Kona whether to try for Tokyo 2020.
Haug won her first Ironman World Championship title after her 2:51:07 marathon catapulted her past front runner Lucy Charles-Barclay. Charles-Barclay was the first out of the water, but Haug’s 4:50:18 bike portion began wearing on her lead. Daniela Ryf, the four-time defending champion, finished in 13th place just a year after setting the course record.
Haug’s winning 8:40:10 overall time makes her the first German woman to claim the title.
Two-time U.S. Olympian Sarah True withdrew during the 112-mile bike.
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