Reigning IRONMAN® World Champion, Jan Frodeno will be returning to the country he used to call home to race at the Standard Bank IRONMAN® African Championship on 10 April 2016.
While IRONMAN South Africa has hosted World Champions before, Frodeno will be one of the biggest names to race at the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship. The German is the current IRONMAN World Champion, IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, IRONMAN European Champion and holds the distinction of being the only athlete to have won Olympic gold and the IRONMAN World Championship. Should Frodeno win in April, he will become the first athlete to simultaneously hold both the titles of IRONMAN African Champion and European Champion.
“An IRONMAN can be a lonely affair, but South Africans are so passionate about endurance sport in general and always put on a good show. I love racing Championship races because the hype is so much bigger and it draws so much more attention,” says Frodeno.
Frodeno has ties to South Africa having spent part of his teen years living in Cape Town. A keen surfer, strong swimmer and lifesaver, it was in South Africa where his triathlon career first began after watching triathlon during the 2000 Olympic Games. While his last visit to South Africa was in 2012 to Stellenbosch where he used to train during the European winter, Frodeno last raced a triathlon in South Africa in 2006. He sees his first racing trip to South Africa in ten years as a homecoming of sorts.
“Growing up [in South Africa] I have many great memories. Some of surfing with a good friend, some mountain biking around the Cape but I have to say the days in Stellenbosch are something I really miss. [Coming back], the nicest thing would be to see some friends from the good old times but honestly, I am really looking forward to hearing a nice, thick [South African] accent when I land and enjoying a glass of South African red,” adds Frodeno.
Frodeno will be headlining a stellar professional men’s field, which includes fellow Kona top-ten finisher, Boris Stein. Also in the line-up is Bas Diederen, Australia’s Tim Van Berkel, his Swiss namesake Jan Van Berkel, Victor Del Corral Morales, David Plese, Ronnie Schildknecht and South African trio, James Cunnama, Matt Trautman and Kyle Buckingham.
The professional women’s field will be the strongest on record in South Africa, featuring defending African Champion, Jodie Swallow and Asia-Pacific Champion, Melissa Hauschildt; British athletes Lucy Gossage, Susie Cheetham and Corinne Abraham; Australian Annabel Luxford, German Diana Riesler and the USA’s Amanda Stevens also make up a formidable line-up.
Along with the strongest professional field ever assembled, a total of 1850 athletes will be racing the new bike and run courses and experience the famous South African crowds upwards of 80 000.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.