History was made at this year’s Ironman World Championships with German athletes winning both the men’s and women’s races for the first time.
After Jan Frodeno claimed his third world title in a course record, it was left to first-time winner Anne Haug to complete an impressive double success for Germany
Haug also became the first German woman to win the grueling Hawaii event and her victory was somewhat unexpected given a tough field which included four-time champion Daniela Ryf.
However, as the Swiss battled with a stomach bug to finish 13th, Haug ran a blistering marathon to cement herself in the history books.
“The whole run felt pretty amazing. I just concentrated on myself and tried not to over pace. It worked pretty well,” she said after finishing the race in a time of 8 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.
Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay finished second having led for the majority of the race before she was overtaken by the German during the run. Australia’s Sarah Crowley finished third.
The event, held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, every year since 1978, sees competitors tested over an epic 140.6-mile journey which starts with a giant 2.4-mile swim in the harbor.
After completing the swim, athletes then set off on a 112-mile bike ride across the scorched island before finishing with a 26.2-mile marathon.
In the men’s race, 2018 Olympic champion Frodeno claimed a third title, adding to his victories from 2015 and 2016.
Despite the blustery and humid conditions, strong performances both on the bike and during the run saw the 38-year-old set a new course record of 7 hours, 51 minutes and 13 seconds.
American Tim O’Donnell was the second man to cross the line over eight minutes later while Germany’s Sebastian Kienle finished third.
“Honestly I don’t care about the record, it’s fantastic but it’s a championship. After walking here two years ago, it’s a bloody good feeling to run 4-minute k’s [kilometers],” Frodeno said.
Germany has dominated the men’s race in recent years, with the last six winners coming from the country.