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Predicting the podium: Who will be the top three women in Kona on Thursday?

Guess who Canadian pro triathlete Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches thinks will win the Ironman World Championship on Thursday

Photo by: World Triathlon

Although we have already seen one Ironman World Championship this year with the rescheduled 2021 event taking place in St. George in May, the 2022 event returns to Kona for the first time since 2019. So, there is a lot of frenzy in anticipation of this championship.

This year the Ironman World Championship will take place over two days, with the women and some age group men competing on Thursday, with the rest of the men (including the male pros) racing on Saturday.

So, I will start with my predictions for the podium of the women’s race, and then I will share more about my predictions for the men’s event later this week. (Unfortunately Kat Matthews, one of the favourites for the podium, will not be on the starting line since she was recently the victim of a car accident during a bike training in Texas.)

Anne Haug captures the women’s title at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

3.Anne Haug

Anne Haug is definitely a favourite for victory, or at least to get on the podium. With Haug you can always expect to see a very exciting end to the race since, even if she is 10 minutes behind after the bike, she is able to catch up and win the race. In 2019 she ran her marathon in 2:51 and won the event in 8:40. However, this year, her competitors, including Lucy Charles, have improved their running, so Haug will have to make sure she doesn’t lose too much time in the water or on the bike.

Count them … one, two, three, four, five Ironman World Championships for Daniela Ryf after winning the Ironman World Championship St. George.

2. Daniela Ryf

Daniela Ryf proved this year when she won the Ironman World Championship St George that she is still a favorite for victory. After a disappointing 13th position in 2019 at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, Ryf is ready to climb back to the top step of the podium. Just like her competitor, Lucy Charles-Barclay, Ryf will have to open a significant gap off the bike on Haug and the other uber-runners to have a chance of winning the race, or at least getting on the podium. That’s good because cycling is Ryf’s specialty, and she has the potential to blow up the race thanks with a superb cycling performance .

Photo: PTO/ James Mitchell

1. Lucy Charles-Barclay

I believe that this is finally the year that Charles-Barclay will climb to the top of the podium. She has come close – indeed very close – on several occasions. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 Charles-Barclay finished second in Kona.

This year no one, not even her, expected Charles-Barclay to be present at the world championships, since she was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her hip early in the year.

Her recovery was faster than expected and she decided to compete in the Long Distance World Championships, this year held over the Professional Triathletes Organisation’s 100 km distance (2 km swim, 80 km bike, 18 km run) , which she won (pictured above). She later decided to participate in the PTO US Open in Dallas, where she finished third.

This third position, which is obviously a great result, does not reflect, in my opinion, her true level of form at the moment. Charles-Barclay had a lot of problems during the bike, a problem with her Di2 battery and other issues with her bike. She was therefore not able to hydrate herself adequately and this definitely affected her running performance, since it was very hot.

Charles-Barclay is the best swimmer in the field, and possibly among the top five cyclists on the starting line. And, although she is an excellent runner, running is her weakness. I believe, however, that since her last participation in the world championship, she has turned this “weakness” into a strength. To be able to win the race, she must make sure she is well ahead of the fast runners like Haug, without having pushed too hard on the bike.

Here is the complete list of pro women participants:

F1 Ryf Daniela CHE
F3 Haug Anne DEU
F4 Moench Skye USA
F5 Astle Ruth GBR
F6 Charles-Barclay Lucy GBR
F7 Crowley Sarah AUS
F8 Philipp Laura DEU
F9 Jackson Heather USA
F10 Norden Lisa SWE
F11 Siddall Laura GBR
F12 Langridge Fenella GBR
F14 Frades Larralde Gurutze ESP
F15 Stage-Nielsen Maja DNK
F17 True Sarah USA
F18 McCauley Jocelyn USA
F19 Bleymehl Daniela DEU
F20 Svensk Sara SWE
F21 Oliveira Pamella BRA
F22 Chura Haley USA
F23 Mitchell Simone GBR
F24 Sodaro Chelsea USA
F25 Zimmermann Laura DEU
F26 Genet Manon FRA
F28 Clarke Rebecca NZL
F29 Mathieux Justine FRA
F30 Brandon Lauren USA
F31 Curridori Elisabetta ITA
F32 Ryter Joanna CHE
F33 Zilinskas Rachel USA
F35 Kiley Renee AUS
F36 Annett Jen CAN
F37 Hartikainen Heini FIN
F38 Fillnow Kelly USA
F39 Liepold Kristin DEU
F40 Illeditsch Elena DEU
F41 Duke Dimity-Lee AUS
F43 Sainter Chantal GBR
F44 Slater Penny AUS
F46 Simpson Kylie AUS
F47 Nieuwoudt Magda ZAF
F48 Robertson Jodie USA
F49 Schulz Jenny DEU
F50 Neres Beatriz BRA
F51 Cheetham Susie GBR
F52 Bevilaqua Kate AUS

Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches is a regular contributor to Triathlon Magazine Canada. He set a new record in winning the CanadaMan/Woman triathlon this year.