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The reigning 70.3 world champion Gustav Iden will not race at the Ironman World Championship in St. George tomorrow, according to his coach Olav Bu. Iden was arguably a favorite for the world title, but after coming down with a cold last week, his coach said the Norwegian team has been closely monitoring the health of both Iden and his teammate Kristian Blummenfelt.
“Both of them (Iden and Blummenfelt) have been infected by a cold, affecting both their upper and lower respiratory systems,” said Bu. “They have both been through thorough examinations, including clinic assessments, blood work, and ECGs. I have had daily contact with our team doctor in Norway. We decided today we would make a final decision with the team doctor, and Kristian has recovered sufficiently that he was cleared to start, while Gustav was not.”
He added: “Our entire team is very sorry that he cannot race and he, of course, is disappointed. We are unfortunately not the only ones affected either—as there have been several others also dropping out of the race due to COVID and colds too. We did as much as we could to assess his condition and speed up his recovery, but the extremely dry conditions here make it extra challenging.”
Iden is the latest in a long line of top pros to pull out of the event. Other notable athletes missing from the start line tomorrow include Jan Frodeno, Patrick Lange, Tim O’Donnell, Javier Gomez, Mirinda Carfrae, Lucy Charles-Barclay, Sarah Crowley, and Laura Phillip.