Tragedy at the Ironman European Championships in Hamburg: After a collision with a triathlon amateur, a motorcyclist succumbs to his injuries. The race continues. Olympic champion Jan Frodeno criticizes.
40 triathlon professionals and around 3,000 hobby athletes competed at the Ironman European Championships in Hamburg
A serious and tragic accident overshadows the Ironman European Championships in Hamburg. After a collision between an amateur athlete on a racing bike and a companion motorcycle, the 70-year-old driver of the motorcycle died at the scene of the accident. The amateur triathlete suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The 50-year-old cameraman, who was also on the motorcycle, escaped with minor injuries and a shock. He had sat astride the motorcycle and filmed with his back to the direction of travel, so he could not provide any information about the course of the accident.
Jan Frodeno: “Athlete safety must come first”
“It was incredibly tight, a complete farce,” said triathlon Olympic champion Jan Frodeno, who finished fourth in his last race on German soil and had a good view of the accident. “I was right next door and saw the bike shatter into what felt like a thousand pieces. I know this always has to be covered by the media, but athlete safety has to come first,” said the 41-year-old. He only found out at the finish that the motorcyclist hadn't survived.
Olympic champion Jan Frodeno criticizes the organization the Ironman European Championship in Hamburg
Victory in the race, which was not abandoned, went to defending champion Denis Chevrot of France ahead of Belgium's Pieter Heemeryck and Denmark's Kristian Högenhaus. However, the organizer in Hamburg did not have the power to decide to end the race early after the accident. This was with the organizing World Triathlon Corporation in the USA. The company is based in Tampa, but it was just before 3:00 a.m. in Florida at the time of the accident. In view of the tragedy, the official award ceremony was subdued, and the EM party planned for the evening has been cancelled.
The ARD live broadcast is cancelled
The fatal collision had already occurred early in the morning at around 8.45 a.m. The people involved in the accident collided shortly after the turning point of the bike course. A helicopter and 20 rescue workers were on site, who immediately blocked the road. This led to chaotic scenes: EM participants and amateur athletes had to heave their bikes off the road and onto an adjacent dyke on the banks of the Elbe and push them past the accident site on the dyke crest.
How the accident happened could now be determined as soon as possible. Like Frodeno, ex-world champion Sebastian Kienle, who was a co-commentator for ARD, had the impression that the road was too crowded at this point: “There are far too many motorcycles on the road,” he said during the broadcast . After a police spokesman confirmed the motorcyclist's death in an ARD interview, the broadcaster stopped the online transmission via live stream a few minutes later.
asz/rb (dpa, SID)