With a heavy heart, Swiss Side Pro AthelteMichael Raelert has decided to withdraw from his start at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa this Sunday. "I was looking forward to the race in South Africa, but my form is not yet good enough to tackle this challenge," Michael Raelert explains honestly. "This decision is not easy for me. I made this decision after having a final form test."
Racing at the Ironman Hamburg at the end of July, Michael Raelert had problems with a calf hardening which limited his training in the following weeks. "My goal remained the same," he says. "I wanted to compete in the best way possible at the 70.3 World Championship in Port Elizabeth. I wanted to fight for my third World Championship title." Michael Raelert put an ambitious training program onto his schedule to prepare for the race, to be on-par with the best athletes in the world. "I have to admit that I do not have the form which is necessary to reach my personal ambitions. I should be at a different level than I am currently, especially on the run to compete for the title with Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez, Jan Frodeno or Sam Appleton, "says Michael Raelert.
Last weekend, Michael Raelert completed two final competition tests in Hamburg. "I wanted to see where I am," he says. "And I want to be honest with myself. My shape is okay, but I'm too far from the form I'd like to bring to the start line of the 70.3 World Champs." Michael Raelert wants to focus on his training in the next coming days to improve further. He still sticks to his plan to start on September 9th at the Strandräuber Ironman 70.3 Rügen.
Photo: Marcel Hilger