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“It’s a nightmare” – COVID stops Laura Philipp from competing at Ironman World Champs in St. George

German favourite forced to pull out of Utah race due to positive COVID test

Photo by: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images for Ironman

Add another potential favourite to the list of no-shows for this weekend’s Ironman World Championship in St. George. In addition to Javier Gomez and Joe Skipper, who both announced last month that the would be unable to attend, Germany’s Laura Philipp has now tested positive for COVID-19 and will be unable to race.

Last week we reported that Philipp had got a cold and was doubtful for the race. Today she posted on her Instagram page a picture of a positive COVID test.

“It is a nightmare,” she wrote. “After 2.5 years of waiting for a big race to happen I’m now stopped by the virus. This honestly feels like a joke, but its real and since I had some heavy symptoms there is only one way to decide: I’m not flying over to the US and I won’t start at the @ironmantri world championships in St. George.”

In addition to her fourth-place debut at the 2019 Ironman World Championship in Kona, 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 in 2018.

Last year she won Ironman Finland in 8:38:28 (photo above) 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. That performance made her one of the women’s favourites for the race this weekend.

“Covid is not just a cold and I will take the recovery seriously because the risk to damage your health in the long run is very high!” she continued. “As much as it hurts to let my dream and good shape go, I know it’s the right decision.”