The Professional Traithletes Organisation (PTO) have announced that Natascha Badmann will replace Chrissie Wellington as team captain for Team Europe at the Collins Cup – Wellington, and Team International captains Erin Baker and Craig Alexander won’t be able to attend the event due to travel disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PTO is replacing one Ironman legend with another. Wellington was a four-time Kona champion, while Badmann took six titles on the Big Island. Badmann made her Kona debut in 1996, finishing second to eight-time Kona champ Paula Newby-Fraser. She would then go on to become the first European woman to win on the Big Island with her victory in 1998. She would follow that with wins in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005. In 2007 Badmann had a horrific bike crash in Kona, breaking her collarbone. She would require two shoulder surgeries, but would return to pro racing, winning Ironman South Africa in 2012 and taking sixth in Kona that year, too. She continued to race as a pro until she was 50, when she competed in Kona for the last time.
“I could not be more thrilled at being asked to be Team Europe Captain for the inaugural Collins Cup,” Badmann says. “The primary mission of the PTO is to celebrate the sport of triathlon and by bringing together today’s top triathletes in a battle to see which region dominates the sport of triathlon, will not only be a riveting competition, but will serve as a platform for professionals and fans alike to celebrate our sport.”