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Can anyone touch Norwegian powerhouses Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship?

Canada's Jackson Laundry looks to improve on fifth-place finish from 2021

Fresh off a win and third-place finish in Kona, Norway’s Gustav Iden (pictured above) the men’s 70.3 worlds defending champion, and Kristian Blummenfelt, who won the Ironman World Championship St. George, are seen as the prohibitive men’s favourites for next week’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George. Canadian hopes will rest on the shoulders of Jackson Laundry, who finished fifth at last year’s 70.3 world championship in Utah.

Iden is after his third straight Ironman 70.3 World Championship title after winning in Nice in 2019 and then last year’s race in St. George. Blummenfelt took fourth in Nice, a week after a big win at the World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, and was 26th at last year’s race after technical issues on the bike.

Iden would run a record-setting 2:36:15 marathon in Kona, while Blummenfelt would post a 2:39:21 split.

The two Norwegians, under the guidance of their coach Olav Aleksander Bu, have changed the face of long distance racing over the last year. After winning the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Blummenfelt went on to win the World Triathlon world championship title, then set a new Ironman record (7:21:12) in winning Ironman Cozumel for his debut full-distance event. He would go on to win the world championship in St. George last May, “win” the Sub7 project in 6:44, post the day’s fastest time at the Collins Cup and finish third in Kona a few weeks ago.

Iden’s performances have been equally impressive. After winning his second 70.3 world title, he blasted to a course-record performance in winning Ironman Florida last November. Unfortunately he had to pull out of the world championship in St. George due to sickness, but bounced back with a big win at the Challenge Championship, then captured the PTO Canadian Open title in Edmonton.

Next weekend all eyes will be on the two Norwegians to see if they can dominate the race in St. George, despite having both raced in Kona. The pair completed a 40 km run just six days before the race in Kona, so one would imagine that they’ll be able to recover in time to contend for the win in Utah.

It was an incredible day for Canada’s Jackson Laundry at last year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship – he took fifth. Photo: Jordan Bryden

Laundry will be one of the many athletes in the field expected to contend for a podium finish. Earlier this year he enjoyed one of the biggest wins of his career when he took Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. The only other pro Canadian man in the field is former Olympian and Ironman record holder Brent McMahon,

Others to watch for in the field include Americans Sam Long, Ben Kanute and Eric Lagerstrom, along with Danes Miki Taagholt and Magnus Ditlev.

Triathlon Magazine will be on hand to cover all the racing in St. George, where the two large pro fields will be joined by about 6,000 age group athletes.

Here’s the full men’s pro list:

1 Iden Gustav NOR
2 Long Sam USA
4 Taagholt Miki DNK
5 Laundry Jackson CAN
6 Kanute Ben USA
7 Lagerstrom Eric USA
8 Ditlev Magnus DNK
10 Azevedo Filipe PRT
11 Blummenfelt Kristian NOR
15 Von Berg Rudy USA
16 Hanson Matthew USA
18 Chevrot Denis FRA
19 Funk Frederic DEU
21 West Jason USA
23 Smith Kyle NZL
24 Mignon Clement FRA
28 Royle Aaron AUS
29 Bendix Madsen Thor DNK
31 Noodt Mika DEU
33 Keulen Youri NLD
34 Petersen Mathias DNK
35 Stratmann Jan DEU
36 Foley Trevor USA
37 Mann Nicolas DEU
38 Magnien Dylan FRA
39 Zepuntke Ruben DEU
40 Costes Antony FRA
41 McMahon Brent CAN
42 Ceccarelli Mattia ITA
43 Toldi Fernando BRA
44 Viain Simon FRA
45 Free Nicholas AUS
47 Montraveta Moya Jordi ESP
48 Ulloa Martin CHL
49 Teagle James GBR
51 Chase Nicholas USA
52 Jarrige Yvan FRA
53 Baelde Sybren BEL
54 Steenberg Scott DNK
55 Horseau Arthur FRA
56 Reuter Fabian DEU
57 Dubrick Marc USA
58 Rodriguez Hernandez Tomas Andres MEX
59 Sosinski Jack AUS
60 Trewhela Vicente CHL
61 Saez Nicolas CHL
63 Stornes Casper NOR
64 de Keyser Christophe BEL