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Ironman World Championship favourite Laura Philipp likely out for St. George

German favourite sidelined by severe cold less than two weeks before the race

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Germany’s Laura Philipp’s short Ironman career has shown that she is rapidly becoming one of the sport’s top competitors. In addition to her fourth-place debut at the 2019 Ironman World Championship in Kona (photo above), the 2017 bronze-medalist at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship burst onto the full-distance scene with a blazing 8:34:57 win at her Ironman debut in Barcelona.

Last year she won Ironman Finland in 8:38:28 and Ironman Austria in 8:35:32, then started this year off with a bang with a huge win over Daniela Ryf at Ironman 70.3 Dubai.

On Monday, though, Philipp was stopped in her tracks by a cold.

“I wanted to be in St. George already, but i had to cancel my flight,” she wrote on Instagram. “It’s like a nightmare but i have unfortunately caught a serious cold, which is currently keeping me in bed with a high fever.”

“I can’t put my disappointment into words right now and I still hope that there might be a small chance for a start at the World Championships as I worked so hard for this for months,” she continued. “It will be a battle between how fast I can recover vs. how much time I have left to fly to the USA and be healthy and with enough power for a World Championship race.”

Today she posted an update in Instagram. While she is feeling better, it’s not looking promising that she’ll be able to make the trip to St. George for the upcoming world championship race.

“My preparation has been so good and mentally I felt so ready, but then this challenge hit me … I feel very unlucky to be in this situation,” she said. “I have been in bed with a 39-degree fever That has gone down and I am feeling better. I will get some tests done to see how my body is actually feeling. I am still not sure about my decision … of course if this wasn’t the world championships and something I have trained for for such a long time, I wouldn’t even consider this trip, but I worked so hard for this and I feel like this is a big chance for me. I am still undecided … it doesn’t look like it makes a lot of sense. The final decision is not made and I will keep you updated.”

Philipp’s impressive performance in Dubai, coupled with the withdrawal of Lucy Charles-Barclay due to an injury, made her one of the pre-race favourites for the race in St. George.