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South American Stars To Defend Titles At Ironman Brazil

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The 112-mile bike course is mostly flat. Photo provided by Ironman.
The 112-mile bike course is mostly flat. Photo provided by Ironman.

Argentina’s Eduardo Sturla and Brazil’s Fernanda Keller will be back in Florianopolis Island to defend their 2008 titles.

With dozens of Ironmans across the globe to choose from, it is not surprising that many professional triathletes are choosing to skip some of their favorite events in order to fit important races into their schedules. This does not seem to be the case with Ironman Brazil. Year after year athletes return to Florianopolis to race in the laid back environment unique to this event. This year is no exception, with both returning champs, Eduardo Sturla of Argentina and Fernanda Keller of Brazil, choosing to toe the line on Sunday, May 31.

The two will face tough competition. One of the biggest contenders on the men’s side will be Argentina’s Oscar Galindez. Galindez has won this race three times, finished second three times, and will be looking to overcome a DNF from last year’s race. Brazil’s own Reinaldo Colucci will be racing on his home turf. The 23-year-old Teamtbb prodigy is in top form after a third place finish in a very competitive Wildflower Long Course race. Others that could contend with the South American trio are Brazil’s Ivan Albano Junior, Chile’s Fabio Carvalho, Czech Republic’s Petr Vabrousek and Argentina’s Ezequiel Morales.

Three-time Ironman Brazil champion Keller will also face tough competition with several Ironman veterans showing up in Florianopolis. Five-time Ironman champion Heather Gollnick will briefly step away from her responsibilities with the Revolution Three to race on Sunday. Fellow American Dede Griesbauer is fast on the swim and bike, and will likely look to build a lead heading into the run. Other top professionals include Canadian Sara Gross, Brazilian Carla Moreno, American Lauren Jensen, Danish Charlotte Kolters and German Susanne Buckenlei.