Victory for Jan Frodeno at 2019 Ironman World Championships

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The 2019 edition of the Ironman World Championships took place in Kailua-Kona over the weekend, in what was another hugely competitive event. The athletes had to open water swim 2.4 miles in Kailua-Kona Bay, before a 112-mile bike across the Hawaiian desert. They then finish with a marathon run along the coast of the big island, finishing back in Kona along Ali’ I drive. The conditions were very tough, which is why this is widely regarded as one of the toughest days in sport. 2019 was no different but despite this Germany’s Jan Frodeno was able to produce a world-record performance. He was also well supported prior to the start with punters from, as he was made the general 5/4 favorite.

Frodeno was looking for his third World Championship title, following victories in 2015 and 2016. In 2017 he was injured mid-race and had to walk to the finish as another German in Patrick Lange picked up the title. Frodeno was then unable to contest the race last season through another injury as Lange defended his title breaking the course record in the process, finishing at 7:52:39. This was under very favorable conditions, with many feeling this time could stand for some time.

The victory for Frodeno this year means a German has won the race for six years in succession as they continue to be the driving force of the sport.

The 2008 Olympic games Gold medallist was dominant throughout and started with an impressive swim, coming out the water in second behind specialist Josh Amberger. With the likes of Brownlee and Tim O’Donnell in just behind.

The bike quickly separated with five going clear in Frodeno, Amberger, Clavel, O’Donnell, and Brownlee. However, the chase group was beginning to close the gap and had reduced this to just over three minutes. This chase included the likes of Wurf, Sanders, and Kienle. All three renowned for their strengths on the bike. Also, this would see the end of Patrick Lange’s race, as the two-time defending champion officially dropped out of the contest. Another key name to drop out was Scot David McNamee, who had finished in third in each of the last two years.

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The leaders continued to push the pace, with the leaders reduced to three with Frodeno, O’Donnell, and Brownlee still over two minutes clear. Brownlee, unfortunately, suffered a flat tire, which meant he entered T2 with the chase pack of Wurf, Kienle, Sanders, and Stein. At this time, Frodeno had also kicked off the front and put more than a minute into everyone else in the race, giving him a clear lead prior to the run. This meant he had a 90 second lead on O’Donnell with a further 3:08 back to Wurf and the chase pack.

Frodeno continued his incredible performance on the day and was never caught in the run. He only needed to produce a 2:44:09 marathon to break the course record set by Lange last year. He was able to do this and achieved this by producing a stunning 2:42:42, which also meant he became the first German to win the Ironman World Championships three times. Tim O’Donnell then clocked a 2:49:44 run to take second on the podium and produce a sub-8 hour finish.

2014 winner Sebastian Kienle then rounded out the podium, as he clocked an impressive run to hold off the fast-finishing Ben Hoffman.