Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medalists in Individual Triathlon, Flora Duffy (Ber) and Kristian Blummenfelt (Nor), Receive Special Invitation to Compete at The 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN World Championship
August 6, 2021
-- Men’s and Women’s triathlon Olympic Gold Medal winners earn place at start line in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i for world’s longest-running and most prestigious full-distance triathlon -- -- Duffy and Blummenfelt scheduled to compete at 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Presented by Utah Sports Commission after previously earning qualification --
TAMPA, Fla. (August 6, 2021) – IRONMAN today announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Gold Medal winners in individual triathlon, Flora Duffy (BER) and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) have been extended a special invitation to compete at the 2021 Supersapiens IRONMAN® World Championship® taking place on October 9, 2021, in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i as an IRONMAN professional triathlete qualifying exemption. Duffy and Blummenfelt have both already qualified for the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3® World Championship and therefore do not need a qualifying exemption for that event.
“We congratulate Flora and Kristian on their fantastic performances in Tokyo and in celebrating their accomplishments, we are pleased to provide them the opportunity to carry their success to our world championship events. The extension of these invitations to both the male and female Olympic Gold Medal winners aligns marquee events within the overall triathlon event calendar, showcasing just how impressive our professional triathletes are across multiple distances,” said Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer of The IRONMAN Group. “After a very difficult stretch for the sporting world, we believe that offering these slots will help to continue to promote triathlon, including the accomplishment of those at the pinnacle of short course racing.”
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games triathlon consisted of a 1.5 km (0.93mi) swim, 43 km (27mi) bike and 10 km (6.2 mi) run and took place on July 26, 2021 for the men with Blummenfelt winning in a time of 1:45:04, and the women’s event a day later on July 27, 2021 with Duffy capturing gold in a time of 01:55:36.
Duffy was the winner of the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa in Buffalo City while Blummenfelt has won the IRONMAN 70.3 Middle Eastern Championship in Bahrain three-straight times from 2017-19 and also finished fourth at the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship held in Nice, France.
Triathlon has been an official Summer Olympic event since its debut in Sydney, Australia at the 2000 Olympic games. 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno (GER) and 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist Michellie Jones (AUS) successfully made the jump to IRONMAN winning the IRONMAN World Championship in 2015 and 2006, respectfully. In addition, former triathlon Olympic medalists such as Kate Allen (AUS), Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Bevan Docherty (NZ), Javier Gomez Noya (ESP), Lisa Norden (SWE), and Nicola Spirig (CHE) have gone on to have success at full-distance IRONMAN and half-distance IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon events.
“One thing I get asked a lot is what is more memorable, an Olympic Medal or my IRONMAN World Championship. I usually reply one is two hours and the other is nine hours, and both are meaningful, so it is a tough comparison. I truly treasure both accomplishments,” said IRONMAN Hall of Fame member Michellie Jones. “Having the opportunity to compete for an IRONMAN World Championship following the Olympics is a great privilege and challenge, especially given the rarity to date of athletes who have achieved the pinnacle of both great stages in our sport.”
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IRONMAN World Championship
Since its inception in 1978 on the island of Oahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants, and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikiki to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The race now sees over 2,500 athletes embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.
IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship
In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the race returned to the United States, taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee where it became a two-day event for the first time. In 2018, the event reached the African continent for the first time and was hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. Continuing the rotation, 2019 saw the French Riviera and Nice, France play host to the ever-growing IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event. More than 200,000 athletes participate annually in a series of qualifying races, consisting of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, North America, South Africa and Switzerland. Hosting more than 5,000 athletes from around the world, participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship have ranged in age from 18 to 85-plus. In 2021, the event takes place in the Red Rocks of St. George, Utah on September 17-18 in the United States before shifting to Taupō, New Zealand on Dec. 10-11, 2022, and Lahti, Finland on August 26-27, 2023. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
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