Two new world best times in Roth: Anne Haug and Magnus Ditlev write triathlon history

Magnus Ditlev won for the third time in a row and last-minute starter Anne Haug also set a record at DATEV Challenge Roth

ROTH. It was a day of records at DATEV Challenge Roth: Denmark’s Magnus Ditlev took his third title in a row in the triathlon Mecca in a new world best time of 7:23:24. Anne Haug (GER) beat Daniela Ryf’s world best time, set just a year ago in Roth, by almost six minutes. The 41-year-old Hawaii winner from 2019 only signed up for the long-distance triathlon last Monday and dominated the field from the start.

Magnus Ditlev, dubbed the new “King of Roth” at the finish line, is following in the footsteps of triathlon legends Lothar Leder and Chris McCormack with the triple. Only these two have managed the feat of winning the race in Roth four times in a row: Lothar Leder from Darmstadt, who has won Roth five times in total, won in 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, while Australian Chris McCormack recorded his four victories from 2004 to 2007. “It’s a great honour for me to have caught up here,” said Ditlev, who finished with a respectable lead of over 14 minutes ahead of Britain’s Thomas Bishop (7:37:54), who set a new British record, and American Rudy von Berg (7:38:30).

“Everything went really well for me today,” said Ditlev at the finish. “Of course I know the course a bit by now. That was certainly an advantage. But the spectators were once again phenomenal and spurred me on to this great performance.” He realised that things could go so well today when he emerged from the Main-Danube Canal only slightly behind the best swimmer. “I was then able to take the lead relatively quickly and run my own race.”

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The race ended on a bitter note for Patrick Lange: the 37-year-old two-time Hawaii winner from 2017 and 2018 cried out in pain in the first transition zone after the 3.8-kilometre swim and grabbed his ribs. “I got hit in the rib cage right at the start of the swim,” he said later, when he entered the stadium in the finish area to thunderous applause despite having dropped out on the bike course. Lange had initially got on his bike and tried to carry on, as he had announced at the press conference before the race that he wanted to break the 2:30 hour barrier for the marathon. But after less than 20 kilometres on the bike circuit, the 2021 Roth winner dropped out. Last year’s runner-up later explained: “I’m fine under the circumstances. The rib isn’t broken, it’s ‘just’ badly bruised. Luck wasn’t on my side today. But I’ll be back!”

The best German athlete was Jan Stratmann from Bonn, who finished in fourth place. “I fought to the end and never gave up,” said the 28-year-old after his second long-distance triathlon. “A tape flew into my bike at kilometre 140. It went very well until then.” Jan Stratmann actually wanted to join Magnus Ditlev on the bike. “But Magnus didn’t want to. So I did my own thing.” The run was pure psychological terror. “I learnt today that I need to be a bit more defensive in the future.”

German double victory for the women in Roth – Anne Haug pulverises world best time

In the women’s field, Anne Haug pulverised the world best time set just a year ago by Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf in 8:02:38 hours. It is also Haug’s third triumph in Roth after 2021 and 2022. Just a week and a half ago, Haug had toyed with the idea of re-registering for a start in Roth. Due to a viral infection, she had to cancel her races at the start of the season and was unable to train for two months. “It’s crazy: and then everything just fell into place today,” said the 41-year-old, who finished ahead of Laura Philipp from Heidelberg (8:14:13), Els Visser from the Netherlands (8:24:47) and Anne Reischmann (GER) (8:26:07). Visser set a new Dutch record with her performance.

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At the finish, the two-time Roth winner was beaming with happiness: “I only found out at the end that it could be enough for the world best time. That was a good thing. Otherwise the head cinema starts.” Anne Haug had been dreaming of the world best time for some time. “It’s something that has made my career perfect. It’s good that it’s worked out now. Otherwise, at the age of 41, the time would have been a bit tight.” Otherwise, the 2012 Olympic participant in London was only missing one Olympic medal. “But I was able to compensate for that quite well with my time in Roth today,” she joked at the finish.

Laura Philipp, who came third last year, was pleased to have improved by one place: “But it wasn’t an easy day.” She did her thing on the bike, as Anne Haug seemed uncatchable. “I tried to maximise my performance today. I managed that very well,” summarised the 37-year-old.

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