Former IRONMAN World Champion Sebastien Kienle (GER) seeks to add IRONMAN African Champion to his résumé!
Home favourite, Kyle Buckingham (ZAF), looking to repeat his 2018 winning form by reclaiming the IRONMAN African Championship again in his backyard. Nelson Mandela Bay local, Natia Van Heerden (ZAF) looking for a fairy tale victory after claiming top podium at IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa; Imogen Simmonds (CHE) and Susie Cheetham (GBR) will be hot on her heels.
Following a COVID-induced hiatus in 2020, the 16th edition of IRONMAN African Championship is set to take place on November 21, 2021. The event will take place with 1 200 athletes set to battle it out for IRONMAN World Championship qualification slots, amongst which there will be a fierce professional field also looking for a piece of the $100,000 USD total professional prize purse and the title of IRONMAN African Champion.
“After a long wait, we are thrilled to again host the IRONMAN African Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Keith Bowler, Managing Director of IRONMAN South Africa. “It feels odd to be hosting this event near the end of the year as opposed to racing in late March or early April as we traditionally do, however, we are grateful that the city has yet again allowed us this opportunity to do what we do best – host exceptional races. Although our event will look a little different with all the COVID safety measures and protocols we have in place, athletes can still expect a top-class memorable event.”
“Unfortunately, due to the continued status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the regulations set, the 2021 IRONMAN African Championship event cannot accommodate spectators at the race venue or on the race course. We therefore encourage the public to follow the race progress from home on the IRONMAN Tracker App (available on Android and iOS), our social media channels and watch the SuperSport race highlights post-race,” added Paul Wolff, Operations Director of IRONMAN South Africa.
In the absence of defending champions, Ben Hoffman (USA) and Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), a new IRONMAN African Champion will be crowned this November in Nelson Mandela Bay. The male category will be tightly contested with a strong PRO field featuring the likes of Kyle Buckingham (ZAF), Nils Frommhold (GER), Sebastian Kienle (GER), Jesper Svensson (SWE) and Bradley Weiss (ZAF) who is taking on his first full distance IRONMAN as a professional athlete.
The women’s field may be smaller but promises to be just as exciting with the likes of Susie Cheetham (GBR) making a return to the course she loves, Imogen Simmonds (CHE) who has been in great form all year and South African athletes looking to make a big statement on home ground in the form of Natia Van Heerden, Annah Watkinson, Mariella Swayer, Magda Nieuwoudt and Jade Nicole Roberts. A strong South African presence in the women’s lineup.
Below is the pro start list for the 2021 IRONMAN African Championship
|Bib||Last Name||First Name||Country|
|36||Eskisabel De Juan||Adur||Spain|
|Bib||Last Name||First Name||Country|
|53||Van Heerden||Natia||South Africa|
|56||Roberts||Jade Nicole||South Africa|
To create more space, the 2021 IRONMAN African Championship welcomes a change to its race course on the swim leg and Transition area. The event will kick off with a 3.8 km (2.4 mile) open-water swim at Kings Beach. Athletes will transition in the Kings Beach Parking Area before taking on a two-loop 180.2 km (112 mile) bike course leading out of Kings Beach and along Marine Drive towards Schoenmakerskop and from there via Sardinia Bay Road to the Village of Beachview. Athletes will get to enjoy sweeping views of the ocean, the rugged coastline and adjacent countryside. Lastly, a four and a half loop 42.2 km (26.2 mile) run course takes athletes right out of Kings Beach to Driftsands Drive for the first turnaround. Athletes will then head back through Summerstrand and Humewood Beach Fronts to Admiralty way to turn for the second time before finishing at Hobie Beach. A course inspired by the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which took place in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Nqaba Banga, concludes, “The world is slowly opening up to big international events, and what better event than another scintillating IRONMAN African Championships in Nelson Mandela Bay! The city is extremely proud to have hosted this prestigious Championship for over a decade. Athletes often remark on our temperate weather, the breathtaking courses and scenic beauty, but we know that the warmth and friendliness of our residents are major contributors to an unforgettable IRONMAN experience. The residents of Nelson Mandela Bay have taken the sport to their hearts, as is evident from the thousands of spectators that traditionally line the routes and the feverish excitement that prevails. To all triathletes who are in training for the race: Nelson Mandela Bay is eager to welcome you! May all your sporting dreams come true in the 2021 IRONMAN African Championship.”