Frodeno, Watkinson prevail at Gdynia 70.3

Jan Frodeno won the men’s title virtually wire-to-wire and Amelia Rose Watkinson overcame a 16 seconds swim deficit with race-best bike and run splits to earn victories at Ironman 70.3 Gdynia.

Men

Frodeno, arguably the man with the best triathlon résumé in history with gold at the 2008 Olympics, wins at the 2015 and 2016 Ironman World Championship, wins at the 2015 and 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and holder of the Ironman distance world’s fastest time with a 7:35:39 at Challenge Roth in 2016, was on form in every discipline.

Frodeno tied fellow German Jan Stratmann with equal 22:50 swim splits that were 6 to 12 seconds better than a pack of 5 chasers that included former Frodeno training partner Nicholas Kastelein of Australia, Miki Taagholt of Denmark, Giulio Molinari of Italy, Sergiy Kurochkin of the Ukraine and Alex Polizzi of Australia while top cyclist-runner Maurice Clavel of Germany lagged 43 seconds arrears.

Two-thirds through the 90 kilometer bike leg, Frodeno opened a 2:28 lead on Clavel and Ruben Zepuntke of Germany, 2:31 on Taagholt and 4:43 on Stratmann. After a race-best 2:02:01 bike split, Frodeno led into T2 by 3:39 on Clavel, 3:42 on Zepuntke, 3:45 on Taagholt, and 6:23 on Stratmann.

Frodeno did not relent the rest of the way as he added a race-best 1:11:29 half marathon to finish in 3:39:36 with a 4 minutes margin of victory over Clavel (1:12:17 run split) and 6:52 over 3rd place finisher Miki Morck Taagholt of Denmark (1:14:24 run split.).

Frodeno thus added to a perfect 2019 season that includes wins at Kraichgau 70.3 and the Ironman European Championship at Frankfurt.

Women

While Frodeno dominated the individual disciplines, New Zealand born-Australia resident Amelia Rose Watkinson won the women’s contest by a greater margin.

Watkinson trailed swim leader Claire Hann of the U.S. by 1 second. After 25km of the bike leg, she blasted away to a 3:59 lead on Margie Santamaria of Italy followed closely by Lisa Hütthaler of Austria, Susie Cheetham of Great Britain and Joanna Soltysiak of Poland.

After a women’s-best 2:17:24 bike split, Watkinson led the women into T2 by 6:21 on Hütthaler (2:20:48 bike split) 8:08 on Soltysiak, 8:17 on Cheetham and 13:20 on Annah Watkinson of South Africa.

Halfway through the half marathon, Watkinson led by 7 minutes on Hütthaler and 9 minutes on Cheetham. After a race-best 1:19:56 run split, Watkinson finished in 4:06:50 with an 8:47 margin of victory on Hütthaler (1:22:22 run split) and 10:53 on 3rd place Cheetham (1:22:32 run).

While Watkinson's 4:06:50 time was strong , it was 9 minutes slower than Daniela Ryf's Ironman 70.3 brand world best mark set in Gdynia last year.

Enea Ironman 70.3 Gdynia
Gdynia, Poland
August 11, 2-19
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.

Results

Men

1. Jan Frodeno (GER) 3:39:36 S 22:50 T1 1:27 B 2:02:01 T2 1:52 R 1:11:26
2. Maurice Clavel (GER) 3:43:36 S 23:33 T1 1:30 B 2:04:54 T1 1:32 R 1:12:17
3. Miki Morck Taagholt (DEN) 3:46:28 S 2:57 T1 1:14 B 2:05:52 T2 2:01 R 1:14:24
4. Jan Stratmann (GER) 3:48:11 S 22:50 T1 1:31 B 2:08:20 T2 1:57 R 1:13:33
5. Giulio Molinari (ITA) 3:49:26 S 22:57 T1 1:49 B 2:05:11 T1 2:07 R 1:17:21

Women

1. Amelia Rose Watkinson (AUS) 4:06:50 S 26:19 T1 1:29 B 2:17:24 T2 1:42 R 1:19:56
2. Lisa Hütthaler (AUT) 4:15:37 S NA T1 NA B 2:20:48 T2 1:57 R 1:22:22
3. Susie Cheetham (GBR) 4:17:43 S 29:01 T1 1:27 B 2:22:38 T2 2:05 R 1:22:32
4. Claire Hann (USA) 4:20:28 S 26:18 T1 1:35 B 2:25:11 T2 2:09 R 1:25:15
5. Annah Watkinson (RSA) 4:21:31 S 28:57 T1 2:02 B 2:27:09 T2 3:00:14 R 1:21:17