Today we learned that Michael Raelert broke his collar bone and won't be racing Ironman Kalmar Sweden. While the two-time 70.3 world champ won't be racing, there is still a strong men's field going after a Kona slot.
August 9, 2019 | RACES|
After pulling out of Ironman Hamburg at the end of last month, Michael Raelert's last hope to nail a Kona spot was going to be at Ironman Kalmar Sweden next weekend. That dream is over, though, after Raelert "collided with a car near St. Moritz on Thursday" and broke his collar bone.
"Unfortunately, my dream of racing the 2019 Ironman Hawaii is over now," Raelert says.
It's been a tough year for the Raelert brothers. Andreas seemed to be in good form at Ironman Lanzarote in May but was forced out of the race due to cramps. He appeared to be running his way into contention for the win in Hamburg, but eventually dropped out of the race shortly after the halfway point of the marathon.
Kalmar race field
Michael Raelert would have been one of the pre-race favorites in Kalmar, but that race, a pro men's only event, will still have a strong field, including some men who remain in the hunt for a Kona.
Another big name who won't be starting in Kalmar. Denmark's Kristian Hogenhaug, the winner of Ironman Hamburg, was at the top of the start list, but he's going to be heading to Challenge Almere in September rather than racing in Sweden.
It's always a crap shoot trying to figure out who will actually be at the start line at various events. One man we know will be looking to get back to Kona again is Germany's Boris Stein. Very strong on the bike, Stein has finished in the top 10 in Kona a few times and would dearly love another shot at racing on the Big Island. Wearing race #2, Italy's Giulio Molinari hasn't nailed a spot for Kona as of yet, either, so he'll likely be motivated to have a big day.
Two men who will certainly fall into the favorite role in Sweden are Joe Skipper (GBR) and Clemente Alonso McKernan (ESP), but both have already got their starting spots for Kona, so if they do finish at the top, their spots will roll down. Antony Costes is also registered for Ironman Mont-Tremblant - he'll no-doubt be near the front on the bike in whichever race he ends up at.
Other names to keep an eye on include Switzerland's Ronnie Schilknecht, Australia's Matt Burton and France's Denis Chevrot.
With just one spot up for grabs in Kalmar, we do know one thing - it will certainly be a competitive day as so many fast athletes look for one last chance to get to the Big Island.