Ironman World Championships Kona, USA, Kaisa Sali 6th
On a day where conditions were unforgiving, the world's best triathletes were pushed beyond their limits. Lining up in the final race of her career, Kaisa Sali raced with all her heart to produce an amazing top 6 performance. Congratulations Kaisa!!
The most iconic long distance triathlon event brought athletes together on the world stage once again, to the big island of Kona, Hawaii. For over four decades, the Ironman World Championships has provided the most coveted prize in the sport, and this weekend it was no different, as the world´s best athletes gathered for their chance to write their names in the history books.
Amongst the women´s field, our Finnish athlete Kaisa Sali who was embarking on an extra special day in her last race as a professional triathlete.
Much like last year, Lucy Charles-Barclay lead the women´s field out of the water with a sizeable lead. Sali followed a further 6 minutes back. Conditions were tougher than expected, as howling winds on the bike course sorted out the strong from the weaker cyclists. As Charles-Barclay increased her gap to over 7 minutes over the 180km course, Sali gave a strong performance moving her way through the field to close out the bike in 10th position.
Onto the run, it was German´s Anna Haug who despite trailing by over 10 minutes, gave an incredible effort to take the race best 2:51:06 run split and become the first German woman to win the World Championship.
Giving her heart and soul into her final career marathon, Kaisa Sali continued to eat through the women´s top 10 on her way to the 2nd fastest split and a huge 6th place. She goes out with an impressive 4 x top 7 performances at the Championships!
FEEDBACK FROM : Kaisa Sali, 6th IRONMAN® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2019
"The last days before the race were full of huge emotions. My mind was basically going up and down whole the time! I still love swimming, biking and running and this race is the biggest dream I have ever had, so you could say that I did build up a bit too much pressure in my head as I really wanted to perform well in this one. On race morning I was more anxious than ever before and I think my biggest “win” of the day was to be brave enough to even go to that start line.
The race was also bigger than normal emotionally as I wanted to race with all the people who have helped me during my career, in my heart. I did write the names in a big paper and there were hundreds of them. It feels so good to know how huge the sports community is.
I have also been thinking a lot about the retirement as also it was not an easy decision, as I still enjoy this lifestyle and pushing my limits so much. But at the end I found a peace with my decision. I feel deep inside my heart that now is the right time to let go and let some new things into my life.
The start of the swim was pretty much a catastrophe. I totally froze, most likely because I was in a bit of a mental mess when starting the race.
Biking did not feel good at any point, but I am very happy that I was able to pull out a basic ride not too far from my goal power numbers.
The running was a bit of a mix of everything. At the start I felt really good, then for some reason I was very tired from about 15-25 km, but at the end I was able to finish stronger than ever before in an Ironman race which I am very pleased about.
I really feel I gave it my everything I had out there, so I am happy….and also a 6th place in the world is not bad at all either :)
We will stay here for a few more days. Those days will include lots of sun and sea and Sunday it is also time for a big party :) After this we will go to Finland but then at the end of the year we are going to take a long holiday with my husband and go to explore some exotic place in the world, by bike or hiking and trail running".
FREDERIK VAN LIERDE leads us in his sport’s paradise. Kailua-Kona. Where the Ironman was born. Triathlon’s most iconic event. Hawaï. Sounds like eden. Becomes hell when things do not get along the way you wanted. And on a 140.6-mile long journey, they are a lot of things that can go wrong.
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