This year’s Ironman World Championship professional men’s field will feature several past champions, including three-time winner and course-record holder Alexander, Al-Sultan (2005), Aussie Pete Jacobs (2012) and last year’s victor Frederik Van Lierde (BEL).
The list of starters also includes Olympic triathlon medalists Jan Frodeno (GER) and Bevan Docherty (NZL), as well as former Ironman 70.3 World champions Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and Sebastian Kienle (GER).
This is arguably the deepest men’s professional field ever assembled in Kona, with multiple Ironman and Ironman 70.3 winners ready to face off on triathlon’s most brutal battleground.
Each of the major Ironman regions are well represented, with several athletes qualifying from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and one from South America.
Representing more than half of this year’s Ironman World Championship men’s field, the European contingent is once again incredibly strong. Many are predicting a European domination led by Van Lierde, Kienle and Frodeno this season, but recent form can only provide a small window of insight into how the Ironman World Championship will play out.
There is a great mix of youth and experience in this year’s group of European qualifiers, with Eneko Llanos (ESP), Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL), Michael Weiss (AUT), Victor Del Corral (ESP), Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI), Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA), Nils Frommhold (GER), Ivan Raña (ESP) and Bart Aernouts (BEL) ready to prove themselves on the Big Island.
Asia-Pacific boasts arguably the second strongest group of athletes, with Alexander, Bozzone, Docherty and Jacobs set to be joined by 2013 runner-up Luke McKenzie (AUS), Tim Berkel (AUS), Joe Gambles (AUS), Tim Reed (AUS), Paul Ambrose (AUS), Chris McDonald (AUS) and Paul Matthews (AUS).
The North America region has also qualified several big names, including Tim O’Donnell (USA), Andy Potts (USA), Ben Hoffman (USA), Tyler Butterfield (BMU), Andrew Starykowicz (USA), Elliot Holtham (CAN), Justin Daerr (USA), TJ Tollakson (USA) and Matthew Russell (USA).
Africa has two representatives in James Cunnama (RSA) and pro debutant Kyle Buckingham (RSA), who was the fastest age grouper in Kona last year, while South America will just have one in Igor Amorelli (BRA).