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Gomez makes another run for Kona in 2020 with Ironman Malaysia win

Spain's 10-time world champion, Javier Gomez, earns himself a spot at the 2020 Ironman World Championship while American Jocelyn McCauley collapses with a huge lead as the Netherlands' Tessa Kortekaas takes her first title.

Javier Gomez struggled at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice last month, but bounced back in style with a record-setting performance at Ironman Malaysia.

Competing in what he says were “the most extreme heat conditions I’ve ever raced in,” Javier Gomez took his first Ironman title yesterday. In winning Ironman Malaysia, renowned as the hottest event on the Ironman circuit, Gomez has earned himself a spot on the start line for next year’s Ironman world championship.

Gomez said before the race that his main goal for 2020 is the Olympic games triathlon in Tokyo, but he plans on competing in Kona as preparation for a more serious run at the Ironman World Championship in 2021.

The Spaniard led the way out of the water, but was passed by Switzerland’s Philipp Koutny on the bike and entered T2 almost nine minutes down. Gomez flew through a 2:54:43 marathon, though, to easily run his way back to the front and take the day in a course record. (It is worth noting that Bryan Rhodes went faster (8:10) on the old course on the other side of Langkawi in 2002.) Koutny, fresh off a top-10 finish in Kona just a few weeks ago (eighth), would hang on for second, with Brazil’s Thiago Vinhal rounding out the podium.

Men’s top-five professional results:

Name Country Swim Bike Run Overall
1 Javier Gomez ESP 00:47:16 04:32:45 02:54:43 08:18:58
2 Philipp Koutny SUI 00:49:26 04:20:50 03:09:49 08:24:18
3 Thiago Vinhal BRA 00:49:28 04:38:15 02:59:18 08:31:15
4 Kaito Tohara JPN 00:53:44 04:50:06 03:02:44 08:50:28
5 Andy Potts USA 00:49:05 04:37:26 03:29:30 09:00:29

After opening up a huge lead on the rest of the women, American Jocelyn McCauley appeared to be on track for the women’s win when she was forced out of the race due to issues with the extreme heat and humidity.

McCauley led by over 4:30 out of the water, then gained even more time on the bike, hitting T2 with a lead of about 13 minutes over the Netherlands’ Tessa Kortekaas. The lead continued to grow as the pair started the marathon and, by 26 km, McCauley was 21 minutes ahead of Kortekaas. But a few kilometres later McCauley would end up having to pull out of the race because of hyponatremia.


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I figured I’d post an update as people are asking. I posted a small one on my insta story. I ended up with hyponatremea etc etc. I started to push a little harder on the run around 28km and 200 m later started stumbling and collapsing to the ground. Thanks to an amazing age group guy (I wish I knew who you were!) I made it into an ice tub. I thought I was going to come around. I was talking to myself willing and telling my body that it wouldn’t give in and it would continue. I took in a bunch of stuff, sat in the tub and puked everything back out. The longer i was there the worse I got. I ended up getting lifted out of the tub onto a gurney to the ambulance. This is where stuff started getting a little fuzzy. They took me to the med tent and then they sent us to the hospital. In the hospital I was in and out of consciousness that evening. It was crazy. I remember them asking me my name, where I was and why i was there and not being able to answer them. This morning I woke a new person! Lab values still a bit out of wack but they are getting there. Start my travels home now and some nice recovery off season. Thanks for all the love and support! ❤️

A post shared by Jocelyn Mccauley (@jocelynmccauley) on

That left Kortekaas to run her way to her first Ironman title in her first year of pro racing, with Japan’s Naomi Washizu taking second and the Czech Republic’s Simona Krivankova taking the final podium spot.

Name Country Swim Bike Run Overall
1 Tessa Kortekaas NED 01:00:52 05:02:55 03:35:01 09:43:20
2 Naomi Washizu JPN 01:00:59 05:16:19 03:30:29 09:52:01
3 Simona Krivankova CZE 01:05:59 05:21:40 03:26:16 09:59:28
4 Magda Nieuwoudt ZAF 01:00:59 05:13:34 03:43:58 10:02:44
5 Katie Kyme AUS 01:01:02 05:44:02 03:39:31 10:29:15