Frodeno and Ryf crowned IRONMAN World Champions in Kona
Jan Frodeno (Ger) made history on Sunday when he became the first triathlete to lay claim to both an Olympic gold medal (2008) and an IRONMAN World Championship title.
The 34-year-old capped off an impressive season that also included victory at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships when he crossed the line at Kona in a time of 8:14:40.
Frodeno took control of the race at the beginning of the bike, storming to the front of the race on the unusually windless Queen K highway. Sebastian Kienle (Ger) and Ben Hoffman (USA) both took turns leading a group containing Frodeno, Andy Potts (USA), Andreas Böcherer (Ger), Frederick Van Lierde (Bel), Romaine Guillame (Fra), Luke McKenzie (Aus), Tim O’Donnell (USA) and Tyler Butterfield (Bmu) to Hawi, where the winds really started to pick up.
Into T2, Frodeno carried a 30-second advantage over Tim O’Donnell (USA), who rode 4:26:13, and a 50-second lead over Kienle, who rode a 4:25:52 for the second-fastest bike of the day. Out of the gate, 2008 Olympic gold medalist Frodeno started to put time into the rest of the field. Frodeno maintained his position, struggling briefly from the heat in the later stages of the run but ultimately taking the win by three minutes.
“I’m sorry to take it from an American again,” Frodeno said at the finish line. “I’m glad Tim did not have any garlic last night, he was breathing down my neck. I am just over the world.”
Raelert’s marked improvement over the past few years landed him a repeat of his runner-up performance from 2012. O’Donnell, under his new coach Mark Allen, topped his 2013 fifth-place finish.
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In the women’s race it was the current 70.3 World Champion Daniela Ryf (Swi) who became just the second woman in history to capture both the 70.3 and IRONMAN World Championship titles in the same year.
Ryf’s 8:57:57 victory is the sixth fastest time in the history of the race.
“I had almost the perfect race. In IRONMAN that doesn’t happen often,” Ryf, 28, remarked after the race. The champion recorded a winning margin of 13:03 over Rachel Joyce (GBr), who placed second, and a 16 minute margin over Liz Blatchford (Aus), who would go on to place third for the second time in three attempts (she was tenth last year).
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