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Two-time Kona champ Patrick Lange pulls out of PTO European Open

German star among a number of podium contenders who have pulled out of race in Ibiza

Photo by: Ingo Kutsche

Germany’s two-time Ironman world champion Patrick Lange won’t be racing at this weekend’s Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) European Open in Ibiza.

“Unfortunately, and with big disappointment, I have to announce that I won’t be able to race PTO European Open in Ibiza this weekend due to sickness,” Lange wrote on Instagram. “I have been battling with sinusitis and a persistent cough since Thursday last week, which has left me unable to prepare for the race.”

“As disappointing as it is, I’ve learned from my past mistakes – particularly my DNF in Kona 2019 – that health comes first,” he continued. “I won’t make that mistake twice.”

Patrick Lange rips through 2:30 marathon to win Ironman Israel

While Lange hasn’t made the podium in Kona since his last win in 2018, he will arrive at this year’s Ironman World Championship in Nice as one of the prohibitive favourites. The course is particularly well suited to his strengths, featuring some long climbs and a fast run course. The German finished 10th in Kona last October, despite serving a penalty on the bike course for a position violation, and followed that up with an incredible performance at Ironman Israel (see above) where he posted a 2:30 marathon split.


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A post shared by Patrick Lange (@patricklange1)

Other big names missing this weekend

Justus Nieschlag wins Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote. Photo: James Mitchell/ Club La Santa

German Olympian Justus Nieschlag has also pulled out of this weekend’s race due to injury. Nieschlag has only competed in two middle-distance races, and has won both, so he would have arrived in Ibiza as a realistic podium contender. He’ll be replaced by Youri Keulen (NED).

Norden out of women’s race

Lisa Norden will always be remembered as the silver medalist at the 2012 Olympics, but enjoyed an impressive long-distance race year in 2022 with top finishes in St. George and Kona.

The 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden has also had to pull out of the race in Ibiza due to injury.

“Last week I felt a niggle in my right calf at the end of an interval session, early this week I had a scan and was diagnosed with a grade one tear in the gastrocnemius,” the Swedish star wrote on Instagram. “The tear is in a good place and the healing should be fairly quick meaning I should be able to ease back in to running sometime next week already.”

Norden took fifth in Kona last October, sixth at the Ironman World Championship in St. George last May, and fifth at the PTO US Open last September, all of which would have made her another podium contender in Ibiza this weekend.


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A post shared by Lisa Norden (@lisanorden1)