Jan Frodeno took the dream showdown between himself, fellow Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez to win his second Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
September 2, 2018 | NEWS|
Tourists come to check out the "Big Five" (elephants, water buffalo, lions, leopards, rhinos) in South Africa, but what the "Big Three" showed at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship at Nelson Mandela Bay was every bit as spectacular. Jan Frodeno, Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez couldn't settle the race during the swim or bike, so the race was settled during the half-marathon run. Frodeno had the best legs and took the race in impressive style, while Gomez couldn't hold off Brownlee over the final kilometers. Two-time Kona champion Frodeno, finished the 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run in 3:36:31, taking his second Ironman 70.3 world title.
Kanute leads the swim
Even in the swim the favorites didn't give each other any ground. Under cloudy skies and light rain the favorites created two lines with Frodeno and Gomez on the left and Brownlee and Sam Appleton (Australia) briefly formed after the start on Kings Beach. At the first turn buoy everything joined up and Ben Kanute led the lead group of nine out of the water in 21:53.
Even after T1 the top group stayed close together. First Frodeno set the pace, but the 2008 Olympic champion either didn't want to or couldn't break away. Then Alistair Brownlee took over at the front after 30 km. With Kanute, last year's runner-up in tow, the Brit pulled clear by about 20 seconds. However, Frodeno, Gomez, Appleton and Belgian Pieter Heemeryck closed the gap by the halfway point of the bike. By then, though, the lead group was down to six having dropped Ryan Fisher, Braden Currie and Adam Bowden.
Frodeno rips the run
Led by Frodeno, the first six reached the second transition zone together in 2:04. Frodeno had a bit of a shock as he entered T2, slipping on the wet road and landing hard. But the crash wasn't too huge and probably served as an adrenalin hit for Frodeno as he started the half marathon. The 37-year-old blasted through transition to be first out onto the run course and immediately pushed on the pace. Kanute, Appleton and Heemeryck were quickly dropped from the mix, leaving the "Big Three" - Frodeno, Gomez and Brownlee, to duke things out. Of the trio of Olympic medalists, Frodeno was the strongest and managed to drop Brownlee after 13 km before finally losing Gomez to finish the half marathon in an impressive 1:06:34, winning the race by over a minute. Brownlee caught Gomez a few km from the finish to take the silver medal.
Ironman-70.3-WM | Männer
1,9 km Swim
90 km Bike
21,1 km Run