Svenja Thoes disqualified, Simone Mitchell declared winner at IM Ireland

Live photo of Svenja Thoes crossing the finish line before officials disqualified her for outside assistance

While live coverage and several online magazine stories had German star Svenja Thoes earning a 2:56 margin of victory at Ironman Ireland at Cork, IRONMAN online results did not include Thoes in their roundup and have not yet responded to Slowtwitch inquiries as of this writing.

Several hours later, Ironman officials posted an explanation which noted that they had indeed disqualified the German triathlete:

"Race officials have noted an instance of alleged outside assistance related to professional athlete, Svenja Thoes, during the IRONMAN Ireland, Cork triathlon on Sunday 14 August 2022. Following investigation by race officials, the athlete was issued a post-race disqualification. The appeals process remains open to the athlete per regular competition rules, whereafter results will be finalized."

On a two-win hot streak in the 2022 season combined with a second place two weeks ago at the prestigious L’Alpe d’Huez Triathlon, Thoes came back from 6:30 behind on the swim and a 17-seconds deficit after the bike leg. Thoes then unleashed a race-best 3:12:33 marathon to finish in 9:24:54 with a 2:56 margin over Simone Mitchell of Great Britain and 3:51 over 3rd-place finisher Laura Zimmerman of Germany.

Unless evidence is presented to Ironman officials that exonerates the German triathlete, Thoes will be denied her third career Ironman victory.

Race recap

Chantal Sainter of Great Britain and Nina Derron of Switzerland exited the Celtic Sea in 51:31 and 51:35 respectively, close to 2 minutes ahead of Anne-Lena Best-Pohl of Germany, Ai Ueda of Japan and 2019 Ironman Wales champ Simone Mitchell. Another minute back was Tara Grosvenor of Great Britain, and pre-race favorite Svenja Thoes of Germany was a further 4 minutes arrears.

Thirty miles through the challenging, rolling 112-mile bike leg, Sainter and Derron rode together in the lead, with Mitchell and Best-Pohl 4:30 behind. Eight minutes back Germans Laura Zimmerman and Margit Elfers advanced to 5th and 6th. Halfway, Sainter and Derron kept the lead while Zimmerman, Eifers and Mitchell were 5:20 back.

In the second half of the ride, Thoes charged hard and closed much of her deficit. Meanwhile Zimmerman, Eifers, Thoes, Mitchell and Derron arrived at T2 in a lead pack all within 30 seconds, while Sainter was just under 2 minutes back in 6th position.

After 10k, Thoes led with Zimmerman and Mitchell a minute and a half behind. After 21 kilometers, Thoes’ lead was trimmed to 10 seconds over Mitchell. Zimmerman was third, 1:44 behind and Sainter regained momentum to hold 4th place, 4:44 back of the leader. With 10k to go, Zimmerman moved to second place, 2:27 arrears while Mitchell was 3 minutes back.

After a race-best (in an all-female pro field) 3:12:33 marathon Thoes finished in 9:24:54 with a 2:56 margin over Mitchell (3:14:41 run split) and 3:51 over (provisional) third place finisher Zimmerman (3:16:26 marathon split).

With Thoes's rousing finish currently erased from the record, Simone Mitchell is adjudged the winner with a 9:27:50 time, 50 seconds ahead of runner-up Laura Zimmerman and 6:25 ahead of third-place finisher Chantal Sainter of Great Britain.

Ironman Ireland Cork

Youghal/Cork, Ireland
August 14, 2022
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
* DQ Svenja Thoes (GER) S Approx 58:00 B 5:14:21 R 3:12:33 TOT 9:24:54
1. Simone Mitchell (GBR) S 53:36 T1 3:05 B 5:14:04 T2 2:27 R 3:14:41 TOT 9:27:50
2. Laura Zimmerman (GER) D 59:05 T1 3:05 B 5:08:05 T2 2:06 R 3:16:26 TOT 9:28:45
3. Chantal Sainter (GBR) S 51:31 T1 2:36 B 5:17:51 T2 2:33 R 3:19:46 TOT 9:34:15
4. Nina Derron (SUI) S 51:35 T1 2:32 B 5:16:35 T2 2:20 R 3:23:22 TOT 9:36:21
5. Tara Grosvenor (GBR) S 54:16 T1 2:37 B 5:L31:31 T2 42:23 R 3:08:33 TOT 9:39:18
6. Anna-Lena Best-Pohl (GER) S 53:32 T1 2:42 B 5:26:45 T2 2:20 R 3:20:57 TOT 9:46:14
7. Margrit Elfers (GER) S 58:54 T1 3:12 B 5:08:33 T2 2:38 R 3:35:55 TOT 9:49:10
8. Ai Ueda (JPN) S 53:34 T1 2:44 B 5:40:49 T2 2:00 R 3:23:31 TOT 10:02:36
9. Hilary Hughes (IRL) S 1:03:36 T1 3:23 B 5:32:20 T2 2:18 R 3:25:34 TOT 10:07:08