It was a good day for Germany at Ironman Italy as Andreas Böcherer and Daniela Sämmler nailed their Kona qualifying for 2019 with a pair of wins.
September 22, 2018 | NEWS|
In the second edition of Ironman Italy, Andreas Böcherer lived up to his role as a favorite. After the 35-year-old failed to finish at the Ironman European Championship after, in his words, overtraining and doing too many races in the spring. Because of that, Böcherer decided to pass on the Ironman World Championship this year. Instead, after a short break, he meticulously prepared himself for the late Ironman race in Italy to nail a Kona spot for 2019.
The swim went as expected with former professional swimmer Lukasz Wojt leading the chase group by almost two minutes, coming out of the water in 45:29. In that chase group was Böcherer, who moved towards the front of the race on the bike along with Italian Giulio Molinari. About halfway through the bike course took the lead in the race. Böcherer used the fastest bike split of the day (4:18:31) to lead by almost three minutes into T2.
The German ran the marathon in 2:48:43, finishing the race in 8:01:50. Molinari faded out of podium contention by 10 km into the run, which left three more Germans: Michael Rünz, Julian Mutterer and Lukasz Wojt to fight for the last two spots on the podium. Ultimately, Rünz took second thanks to a 2:49:53 marathon ( 8:18:10 hours). A few minutes behind him, Mutterer rounded out the podium in 8:23:38. Wojt for his fast pace on the bike and had to settle for fourth after a 3:09:29 marathon(8:25:55).
Sämmler unstoppable in the women's race
From the German point of view, there was another favorite in the women's race. After her success at the Challenge Roth 2018, Daniela Sämmler added another full-distance win to her season. About 1:32 back after the swim, Sämmler was in third place starting the bike behind Carolin Lehrieder and Zeljka Saban Milicic (CRO). Once on the bike, though, Sämmler showed her strength, posting a 4:44 split that put her 11:36 ahead of Lehrieder into T2. Over the 42.2 km run course the 30-year-old continued to open up time on the field. Her 3:17:28 marathon split got her to the line in 9:05:49. Just over 14 minutes later, Gabriella Zelinka (HUN) followed in second (9:22:19), while Bianca Steurer (AUT) rounded out the podium, with Lehrieder taking fourth.