Another year, another formidable performance from Daniela Ryf at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. The Swiss star made it four consecutive wins in Kona today and, in doing so, matched Chrissie Wellington’s victory count in Hawaii and smashed the course record. And this included a nasty jellyfish sting on the swim that made her consider quitting after the swim leg.
After breaking the swim course record, Britain’s Lucy Charles would finish second once again, and in doing so would produce the second-fastest time in women’s Hawaii history.
CHARLES STRIKES FIRST
British interest in the women’s professional event was largely centred on rising superstar Lucy Charles (head here for the elite men’s race report featuring David McNamee, Tim Don and Joe Skipper), with the Essex athlete targeting a victory over three-time champ Daniela Ryf after her second place Kona elite breakthough in 2017.
And Charles would prove utterly dominant in the swim leg of the women’s race, with the British athlete leading from the start and all by herself for much of the duration.
She’d exit in 48:13mins, under the course record of 48:43 from 1999 (and in the overall top ten fastest elite times of the day), and hit the bike with a 2min margin over the chasing field and around 10mins to Ryf, who was stung by a jellyfish in the swim under the arm. A message to the three-time Kona champion had been delivered by Charles.
#IMWC @LucyAnneCharles out of the water in with the lead followed by @lb_brandon +2:53, @TeresaJAdam), +3:45, Hele @helle_f +3:48, @sgroffy +3:52, @Liz_Blatchford +3:55, @Rachel_McB +5:50, @JoceMcCauley +5:58 and and @mbkessler +5:59. pic.twitter.com/dxG3wDll2j
— IRONMANLive (@IRONMANLive) October 13, 2018
By the 90km stage of the bike, Charles’ lead over Ryf was 8mins, with the Swiss athlete having risen through the field to second place. Brit Corinne Abraham was in fourth. Some 20km later and Ryf had chiselled Charles’ advantage down to 7mins, and this theme would continue for the duration of the bike course.
Update: @danielaryf Has again brought down the gap. It’s now just 3.03 just pass Mauna Lani in the QK heading back to town.