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IRONMAN World Championship Set for Oct. 14 in Hawaii

Date: 
09/28/2017 - 16:48

Defending champions, Germany’s Jan Frodeno and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf, headline elite field.
TAMPA, Fla. (September 28, 2017) – Triathlon’s top professional talent will convene in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on October 14 for the 41st edition of the IRONMAN® World Championship, the most iconic one-day endurance event in the world. Leading one of the most competitive and talented professional fields in race history, Jan Frodeno (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) will both be looking to win their third-straight IRONMAN World Championship title.

“As we approach four decades of racing at the IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii, the level of global competition is as strong as it has ever been,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for IRONMAN. “With a field of such fine professional athletes competing again this year, I am certain we will see another spectacular race.”

The women's professional field will have their sights set on two-time IRONMAN World Champion and now three-time IRONMAN® 70.3® World Champion, Daniela Ryf (CHE). Also vying for the title is last year’s third-place finisher Heather Jackson (USA), who will be looking repeat as the top American finisher for a third straight year. Sarah Crowley (AUS), who broke through with a win at the 2017 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns in June, and again just a month later with a victory at the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt, will also be looking to challenge for a podium spot. Kaisa Sali (FIN), who finished fifth in her IRONMAN World Championship debut last year, intends to use her blistering run speed to move up a few notches in her second go on the Island of Hawai`i.

Among other seasoned competitors headlining the female group are Michelle Vesterby (DNK), one of the most consistent performers at the IRONMAN World Championship and winner of the 2017 KMD IRONMAN Copenhagen; Susie Cheetham (GBR), who is coming off a strong win at the 2017 IRONMAN South American Championship, and exciting newcomer Lucy Charles (GBR), fresh off a dominating win at the 2017 IRONMAN Lanzarote and a runner-up finish at the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt.

The men’s group is equally crowded with titleholders and contenders, including two-time reigning IRONMAN World Champion and one of the most dominant triathletes of all time, Jan Frodeno (DEU). The 2008 Olympic gold medalist will seek a third title at Kona to further cement his legacy. Frodeno’s fellow German rival, 2014 IRONMAN World Champion Sebastian Kienle (DEU), finished second last year with the eighth-fastest time in the history of this race (8:10:02) and will be attempting to reclaim a spot atop the podium. Both will also be keenly aware of the third German in the bunch, Patrick Lange, who burst onto the scene in not-so-subtle fashion by posting a 2:39:45 time in the marathon portion, breaking a 27-year-old IRONMAN World Championship run-course record to earn third place in his Kona debut.

Outside of the Germans who look to keep hold of the podium, fans around the world are sure to keep their eyes on veteran triathlete Tim Don (GBR) who shattered the IRONMAN world record with a flawless race at the 2017 IRONMAN South American Championship in Brazil, finishing in 7:40:23 in May. Adding pressure onto the field will be Lionel Sanders (CAN) who has been dominant in IRONMAN 70.3®competition, amassing 16 wins over the past four seasons, including an almost flawless record in 2017 with victories at IRONMAN 70.3 events in Pucon, Buenos Aires, Oceanside and Mont-Tremblant. Rising-star Josh Amberger (AUS) will make his debut in Kona after capturing the 2017 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns in May. Two-time IRONMAN African Champion and 2014 IRONMAN World Championship runner-up Ben Hoffman (USA) will look to improve upon his fourth-place finish from a year ago. Fellow Americans Tim O’Donnell and Andy Potts, who respectively earned third and fourth place finishes in the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship, will join Hoffman in competing to become the first IRONMAN World Champion from America since 2002 (Tim DeBoom).

The 2017 IRONMAN World Championship will offer a $650,000 total professional prize purse which will be distributed to male and female first through tenth place finishers.

In addition to the competitive professional field, more than 2,400 registered age-group are registered to compete in this year’s IRONMAN World Championship. The largest international athlete field in this race’s history represents 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents. Athletes ranging in age from 18 to 84 have earned their championship opportunity by having finished among the best at one of more than 40 qualifying IRONMAN events worldwide.

Live race coverage of the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship can be viewed on www.ironman.com. Comprehensive coverage will capture every aspect of the race and feature a hosted show, athlete tracker and live blog. For live tracking, real-time results and instant notifications, fans can follow both the professional and age-group athletes on the IRONMAN Tracker app available for download from the Google Play and the iTunes App Store. In addition, NBC will air the IRONMAN World Championship special on Saturday, December 9 at 2:30 p.m. ET (check local listings for details).

IRONMAN World Championship
Since its inception in 1978 on the island of Oahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The race now sees over 2,400 athletes embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots.

About IRONMAN
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, 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 and 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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