Noosa-powered title contenders
THE hottest of favourites, Jan Frodeno is perfectly positioned to claim his third Ironman World Championship crown on Sunday morning.
Jan, 36, who spends half the year at Noosa with wife Emma (nee Snowsill) and their son Lucca, has been an unstoppable force in recent years.
During the past year, Jan won at 70.3 Barcelona and Chia Sardinia Triathlon, as well as Ironman Austria.
There are some athletes showing good form who could push the reigning title holder, including Canada’s Lionel Sanders along with Jan’s training partner, Mudgee-raised triathlete Nick Kastelein also also spends half of his year at Noosa.
Nick has also been in fine form this year, having claimed a breakthrough victory at Ironman Switzerland in July.
Amid the women’s field is Melissa Hauschildt. The 34-year-old from Noosa is a two-time 70.3 (half Ironman) world champion.
She has spent the past few months in Boulder recovering from major surgery, but is ready to rights some wrongs of her chequered Kona history.
“Last year I had my best preparation and made it to the start line but then had to withdraw on the run after my leg shut down (later finding out I had a kinked iliac artery shutting off the blood supply to my left leg),” she said.
“This year after two major surgeries, both having complications, that turned into four surgeries, the kinked artery is fixed and I'm back to try again.
“I've had a couple of races in the lead up and feel like I'm heading in the right direction. While I'm playing catch up a bit but I'm still excited to be in Kona ready to give it my all. This year has been tough and I'm not putting any expectations on myself. I want to walk away having done the best I can on the day and remain healthy so I can keep building fitness and continue racing at the end of the year.”
Another ex- Sunshine Coaster, Carrie Lester is also set to race in elite company.
Sportsbet odds, men: Jan Frodeno $2, Sebastian Kienle $3.25, Lionel Sanders $6, Tim Don $10, Pete Jacobs $17, Josh Amberger $18, Nick Kastelein $26, Dave Dellow $41.
Women: Daniela Ryf $1.33, Rachel Joyce $6.50, Annabell Luxford $9.50, Carrie Lester $34, Melissa Hauschildt $34.
Jan Frodeno remains the one to beat at Kona.