This is probably not how Jan Frodeno had imagined his last race in front of a German audience. After a fatal accident, he criticizes.
Update from Sunday, June 04, 15:06 p.m.: After the accident drama at the Ironman in Hamburg, Jan Frodeno has now spoken out. "It may be the wrong time to voice the criticism, but I told a referee on the way out – maybe 15 kilometers before – that it didn't end well," he told the Hamburger Morgenpost just minutes after crossing the finish line.
According to Frodeno, he experienced the accident up close. "I was right next door and saw the bike shatter into what felt like 1000 pieces," he said. "I just passed by, turned around and saw the motorcyclist on the ground. I knew: This can't be good," he is quoted as saying in the Hamburger Morgenpost. However, he only learned of the exact circumstances and the death of the motorcyclist at the finish. "I could read the mood a bit from their faces, but I just didn't know what was going on."
In the end, Frodeno can't hold back his criticism of the course of the circuit: "It wasn't fair from a purely sporting point of view because the bikes were just way too close," he said. "I know that this always has to be covered by the media, but athlete safety has to come first."
Jan Frodeno with his last performance in front of a German audience
First report from Sunday, 04 June, 11.27 a.m.: Hamburg - It was supposed to be a comeback and a farewell at the same time: When Jan Frodeno jumped into Hamburg's Binnenalster early on Sunday morning, it was the beginning of the end of an era. The start of the only German Olympic triathlon champion to date at the Ironman European Championship in the Hanseatic city was to be the 41-year-old's last appearance in front of a German audience. But then everything turned out differently. A terrible accident overshadowed the triathlon, it was also in the room that Frodeno would end the race prematurely.
|Age:||41 years (August 18, 1981)|
|Greatest successes:||1x Olympic gold, 3x winner Ironman World Championship, 2x winner Ironman 70.3 World Championship, 3x winner Ironman European Championships|
Serious accident at Ironman in Hamburg: motorcyclist dies
But what had happened? According to initial information, a motorcyclist belonging to the TV production collided head-on with a cyclist on Sunday morning on the Gauert main dike in the south of Hamburg during the race. The motorcyclist was killed. The cyclist was seriously injured, but according to initial information, his life is not in danger. The cameraman, who was also on the motorcycle, was slightly injured.
Since the Ironman was not canceled after the accident, absurd images came up in the second round. The athletes had to get off their bikes in front of the accident site, carry them up the dike and continue from there. As reported by Bild, a shortening of the route was also considered, but so far the race is apparently continuing normally. A decision on an abortion will probably be made in the near future. The problem: According to Bild, the decision to cancel does not lie with the organizers in Hamburg, but in the USA. The World Traithlon Corporation has its headquarters in Tampa, Florida. The company is responsible for the organization and marketing of the Ironman.
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The Ironman participants have to carry their bikes over the dike at the scene of the accident. © Screenshot/ARD
Jan Frodeno probably cancels Ironman in Hamburg
The ARD broke off the broadcast after the accident, but shortly before it sounded in the sports show that Jan Frodeno would probably end the race prematurely due to the accident. "I spoke to Jan Frodeno's manager. He will most likely take Jan out of the race, because of course everyone knows about the circumstances by now. They can't imagine continuing a race for hours and then crossing the finish line with happy faces in downtown Hamburg at some point," said the Sportschau reporter. But even hours after the accident, Frodeno – in second place – is still there.
It was supposed to be Jan Frodeno's big farewell to "his" German audience, now he will probably end the Ironman in Hamburg prematurely. © Oliver Gold/imago
Over the past two years, Frodeno has repeatedly been plagued by injury concerns. A partial tear of the Achilles tendon was followed by a bicycle fall, which resulted in three operations. Before the World Championships in Nice in September, his last career goal, the Ironman in Hamburg should now be another stress test. But that's probably not going to happen. (msb/dpa)