Noosa-pow­ered ti­tle con­tenders

Multisport Mecca - - Ironman World Championship -

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.

Melissa Hauschildt.

Nick Kastelein.

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