Kaisa's Kona finish

Today we enjoy Kaisa Lehtonen's big smile as she finished fifth in Kona last October.

| March 29, 2017 | PERSONALITY

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

2016 was quite a year for Finland's Kaisa Lehtonen, who made her Kona debut thanks to a huge win at the Ironman African Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa. There aren't too many people who finish in the top five in their first Kona finish - a feat Lehtonen was justifiably smiling about as she crossed the finish line in 9:15:40.

Lehtonen made the move to long distance racing in 2013. From 2007 to 2012 she competed as an elite, focusing on ITU standard-distance events.

Lehtonen is coached by Siri Lindley, who is no stranger to developing top long-distance athletes - she works with three-time Kona champ Mirinda Carfrae and also coached Leanda Cave the year she won in Kona.

This weekend Lehtonen is back in Nelson Mandela Bay to try and defend her Ironman African championship, where a top finish will no-doubt illicit another great smile like the one she sported in Kona last year.