Triathlon: Marten Van Riel wins in Brazil!
The Belgian triathlete has won the Brazil Half Ironman on his return to competition after a long convalescence from an ankle injury.
It was in the mild climate of Fortaleza, a coastal city in the north-east of the country, that Marten Van Riel decided to return to competition for the Brazil Half Ironman. The Antwerp native showed excellent form in the Brazilian heat in this half-distance event, which consists of a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride and a 21 km run.
The 30-year-old Belgian triathlete had obviously recovered well from the nasty ankle injury he sustained in a fall in Leeds in June 2022. It had taken many months to heal a complicated injury, even raising doubts about Marten Van Riel's return to the highest level.
The athlete who had not been on the podium since finishing second in Edmonton, Canada, in June 2022, immediately took a big lead over his rivals in the swimming. The gap between him and his pursuers widened even further during the cycle leg, and he was able to finish with a solo run without ever being threatened. This is a superb victory that he can savour after completing the event in 3hrs43.58, 3'19 ahead of Spain's Antonio Benito and 6'33 ahead of Brazil's Andre Lopes.
This victory in Brazil means that the Belgian champion has qualified for the half-Ironman World Championship scheduled for mid-December 2024 in Taupo (New Zealand). But his next goal is the Paris Olympics!