Stacked Pro Field Featured in Ironman African Championships in South Africa

Ironman South Africa is this year’s regional championships for the African continent, and this year’s winners will be guaranteed a slot to the World Championships in Kona this October.   The event will also give 75 slots to age group winners into  the big dance in Kona.

Both the defending champions in the men’s and women’s elite categories will be back, Ben Hoffman of the USA and Kaisa Lehtonen of Finland.  Lehtonen though will be hard-pressed to repeat with the presence of current Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf (CHE).  Ryf has been virtually unbeatable in the half and full distance categories, save for a surprising 4th in last year’s 70.3 championships in Moololaba and a DNF in Ironman Frankfurt last year.

Joining Ryf and Lehtonen are Susie Cheetham (GBR) and Julia Gajer (GBR).  Jodie Cunnama is a late scratch due to health reasons as announced on her twitter account.

In the men’s field, Hoffman will be challenged primarily by 2015 Ironman South Africa champ Fredrik Van Lierde.  Van Lierde is good to go after being mugged in a training ride last weekend.   There are no clear favorites on this one though with strong contenders and Ironman champions dominating the field.  They are   Nils Frommhold and Boris Stein of Germany, Eneko Llanos of Spain, Joe Skipper (GBR) and home favorites Kyle Buckingham and James Cunnama.

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