O'Donnell, Hanson, Carfrae and Crowley highlight field in Argentina

How's this for a strong field? Americans Tim O'Donnell and Matt Hanson highlight the men's field, while Australians Mirinda Carfrae and Sarah Crowley face off at Ironman Mar del Plata.

| November 30, 2018 | NEWS

Tim O\'Donnell took fourth at this year\'s Ironman World Championship.

Tim O'Donnell took fourth at this year's Ironman World Championship.

Photo >Frank Wechsel / spomedis

Who will take the Ironman South American Championship? This question will be answered on Sunday in Mar del Plata, Argentina. There's possibly the strongest line up at an event since the season's highlight in Hawaii.

In the men's race, more than a handful of athletes on the starting list have a legitimate shot at the title. The biggest favorites for the win are two Americans: Tim O'Donnell, fourth at the Ironman World Championship this year and compatriot Matt Hanson, who took his third Ironman Texas title this year. Last year's winner Matt Chrabot (USA) is back on the starting list and can certainly look for a place on the podium again this year. Andy Potts, who finished eighth in Hawaii this year, and newly-crowned Ironman-Cozumel winner Michael Weiss (AUT) also have a chance at a top-three finish. Thiago Vinhal (BRA) and Ironman Barcelona winner Jesper Svensson (SWE) will also likely have a say in the podium fnishes.

A strong women's field

There are some prominent women set to compete on Sunday, too. Three-time Kona champion Mirinda Carfrae, who's comeback after having a baby last year included a fifth-place finish in Kona, would obviously love to take the South American championship title this weekend. Her toughest rival is likely to be compatriot Sarah Crowley, who finished one spot behind Carfrae in Kona. Last year's winner, Sarah Piampiano, is back, too, and certainly is a podium contender. Other favorites include Sweden's Åsa Lundström, who finished fifth in Argentina last year, as well as Great Britain's Susie Cheetham and Kimberley Morrison.