46 PRO athletes have registered to Herbalife IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia, Poland. The race will feature top Polish triathletes as well as some well-known international athletes. Joe Skipper (GBR) and Diana Riesler (GER) seem to be the strongest contenders in the Polish benchmark triathlon event scheduled for Sunday, August 7th.
„Gdynia attracts top class triathletes every year. Enough to say that Andreas Raelert and Nils Frommhold prevailed here in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The elite field is going to be extremely strong this year as well, which is certainly a good news for the thousands of spectators who are going to cheer on the athletes on the course'', says Michał Drelich, race director.
The one to watch will surely be Joe Skipper. The Brit finished second in 7:56:23 at the recent Challenge Roth, losing only to Jan Frodeno and leaving Nils Frommhold behind his back. Stefan Schmid (GER) should fight for a podium place as well. You should not ignore Anton Blokhin (BLR) either as he has been a regular in Top 3 in Gdynia in the recent years.
The local crowd expect high level performance from top Polish triathletes with the young rising star Miłosz Sowiński aiming to repeat his last year's podium appearance. Last season, he was also 4th at Gloria IRONMAN 70.3 Turkey and has become the first Pole ever to qualify to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championiship in PRO category. It is worth mentioning he is 21 years old now.
Mikołaj Luft and Kacper Adam (both Polish) have also something to prove in Gdynia. Luft, despite being the current national champion, had problems in his latest races, suffering from colic at 5150 Warsaw Triathlon and quitting Challenge Poznań on the running stage. Kacper Adam is undergoing a slump after great 2014 and 2015 seasons when he won back-to-back national championships. Łukasz Kalaszczyński (POL) could be considered a dark horse having dominated the local Garmin Iron Triathlon series and prevailed at EuCO Susz Triathlon organized in the 'mecca' of Polish triathlon.
Women's competition will see Diana Riesler (GER) try to defend her last year's title from Gdynia. The German won 5 IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races in the last two years with Herbalife IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia 2015 being her first IRONMAN 70.3 victory. This season, she finished 4th at IRONMAN Lanzarote but then had to quit the swimming part at Mainova IRONMAN Frankfurt because of hypothermia.
Her strongest competitor should be Mary Beth Ellis (USA) who has recently returned to the world's elite after a few lean years. She used to be IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship silver medalist in 2008 and 2009 as well as used to hold the IRONMAN national record – 8:43:34. In 2015, she won ITU World Championships on the long distance.
Michaela Herlbauer (AUT), Ewa Bugdoł (POL) and Ewa Komander (POL) should be considered podium contenders too.
Herbalife IRONMAN 70.3 Gdynia will take place on August 7th. More than 2350 athletes from 32 countries have already registered for IRONMAN 70.3 race with another 1500 participants of sprint competitions, relays and IRONKIDS.