Daniela Ryf on Big Island with stomach problems in 13th place
Daniela Ryf reached 13th place at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Due to stomach problems before and during the race the defending champion could not get her performance as planned.
A few days before the big competition Daniela Ryf ate something bad. "Suddenly I had a strange stomach. I was sick and I didn't feel well." This robbed the athlete from Solothurn of the necessary energy to give a top performance in the Hawaiian heat.
With great motivation at the start, she noticed after only three kilometres of swimming that it could be difficult. "I got sick and couldn't keep up with the pace anymore," Ryf explains after the race. The four-time Hawaii winner also had to improvise with the food along the route: "The gel made me sick, so I could only take in energy with drinks".
"Everything is still possible" – but the body couldn't go any faster
Always hoping that her condition would improve, Ryf tried to push on the bike, which unfortunately failed. At the final 42.195km long run she felt better from kilometre four to kilometre twelve. "Then I thought that everything was still possible. But after a while I had to slow down running too because I had no energy left".
But giving up was not an option for the five-time 70.3 World Champion: "The support on the road was fantastic, fans and athletes cheered me on. That touched me a lot and motivated me not to give up." Now Daniela Ryf recovers with her family in Hawaii for a few days before returning to Switzerland.