Jan Frodeno pressed record and limped into the picture. The IV on one arm, a walker on the other, his face contorted with pain. An actually harmless fall stopped the exceptional German triathlete on the way to Hawaii, and the second Ironman World Championships this year will also take place without the former world champion – the final farewell is getting closer.
The bike accident in preparation for the season highlight in the island paradise (October 8) sealed “tricky months” in which Frodeno suffered from Achilles tendon problems and “ended my Kona dreams for 2022”. After the title fights were moved to May and to St. George/Utah due to the corona pandemic, the 40-year-old will also miss the return to Hawaii.
But that’s not supposed to be it. “Pause, press reset and start again”: This is Frodeno’s plan for his “final 14 months” as a professional triathlete. First, however, his body has to heal, the abrasion on his hip became infected, so Frodeno was under the knife for the first time on Thursday, “two to five operations” by team doctor Casper Grimm are still pending.
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According to Frodeno, he is approaching the reconstruction with unbroken energy. He still burns for the sport that he “still loves too much” to end immediately.
One last goal from Frodeno
Frodeno is still pursuing one last goal: the end of his career at the peak, if possible in 2023 in Hawaii, if possible with his fourth world title after 2015, 2016 and 2019. If possible in a direct duel with the new dominator, Kristian Blummenfelt from Norway.
After winning gold over the Olympic distance in Tokyo, he also won the Ironman World Championship in the USA and at the age of 28 is probably still before his best time on the long distance. Frodeno, on the other hand, is on the home straight. He doesn’t want to be “the next old man who can’t find the jump,” he said in his video message on Instagram.
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