Kristian Blummenfelt is “F******* annoyed” with second. Scary for his competition, and a sign of an impressive legacy
Norwegian star determined to add a PTO Tour win to his resumePhoto by: PTO
The PTO European Open in Ibiza didn’t quite live up to the “showdown of the Olympic champs” triathlon fans were looking forward to. What they were treated to, though, was a breakthrough performance from an up-and-coming Aussie and proof that Kristian Blummenfelt remains the sport’s stand-out competitor, even though he’s “F******* annoyed” with his runner-up finish.
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In the mix
Blummenfelt likes to win, and since 2021 he’s done that a lot more than he hasn’t. After winning gold in Tokyo that year, he took both the World Triathlon Series Championship and the Championship Finals in Edmonton a few weeks later. Then he set a world-best Ironman time in Cozumel later that fall before winning Clash Daytona to round out the year. In 2022 there was an “off-day” 10th at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, a runner-up finish at the PTO Canadian Open and a third-place finish in Kona to go along with the 70.3 worlds win and his Ironman world championship title won in St. George in May.
He might not look at it this way, but those runner-up and third-place finishes might actually be a sign of greatness. Even when it looked like Tiger Woods might break Jack Nicklaus’ record for major championships (18 for Nicklaus, 15 for Woods), one record Woods was pretty sure he’d never come close to matching was the number of runner-up finishes Nicklaus racked up at majors (19), not to mention the 56 times the American golf legend finished in the top-five.
So, while Blummenfelt might be annoyed that he didn’t win on Saturday, he adds another runner-up finish to his already impressive resume. Nicklaus was renowned as the man to beat week in and week out at PGA Tour events. Blummenfelt has become the equivalent in the world of triathlon. What’s even more impressive is he’s putting up those results at a variety of distances. Last year he was out-sprinted at his hometown race in Bergen, Norway, just a week after he dominated the day at the Collins Cup. A week after he won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship (which came three weeks after his third-place finish in Kona), Blummenfelt took sixth at the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) race in Bermuda. Three weeks after that he finished eighth at the Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi.
Here’s another scary thing to take into account – now Blummenfelt is going to be even more motivated as he gears up for a busy summer of Olympic qualifying and, as came out of his post-Ibiza comments, the desire to win a PTO Tour event after finishing second twice.
All of which is great news for triathlon fans and bad news for Blummenfelt’s competition.