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Triathlete.com editors have learned a few more details about Chrissie Wellington’s decision to drop out of the Ironman World Championships this morning.
According to Ben Mansford, Wellington’s agent, Wellington began getting a sore throat yesterday afternoon. She hoped that she would feel better after she slept, but she woke up still feeling flu-like symptoms.
According to Mansford, she is despondent over her decision to drop out but didn’t want to step to the line unless she was 100%. She has too much respect for the race.
Triathlete.com couldn’t get any comments from Wellington herself. It is believed that she isn’t interested in making a public statement until after the race is over, out of respect for the other girls.
Ryan Dolan of Tyr, one of Wellington’s major sponsors, said that he and his colleagues “feel very bad for Chrissie. She prepares so well and is so dedicated. [There is] no doubt she will be back in full force very soon.”
With Wellington out of the race, the women’s field is wide open. Wellington has dominated Kona and every Ironman she has entered since she burst onto the scene in 2007, when she was the surprise world champion.
Since then, Wellington has held a mental and physical strangle hold over the other women in the field. Usually, when women step on the line with Wellington, they shoot for second place and hope to be able to remain in Wellington’s zip code, at the very best.
But this year’s race had a chance to be a real race. With Britain’s Julie Dibens in the field, it was possible that Wellington would have headed into T2 in second place for the first time, as Dibens has a blistering swim/bike split. Some predicted that, with the new foe, Wellington would have had to press herself in a way that she never had before, which would leave room for a super runner such as Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae to steal the show.