Joe Skipper next athlete forced to skip Ironman World Championship St. George

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 26: Joe Skipper celebrates after winning the IRONMAN Chattanooga on September 26, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Jan Frodeno, Lucy Charles, Patrick Lange, Javier Gomez and now also Joe Skipper. All of them will miss the upcoming Ironman World Championship in St. George (May 7). In Skipper’s case, that’s due to a COVID-19 infection that he sustained after racing Ironman South Africa in the beginning of this month.

“I’m sorry to say that I’m going to be withdrawing from the Ironman world championships in St George due to COVID-19”, Skipper announced today. “It’s such a shame, and I’m really disappointed, as I had been really looking forward to this race since it was first announced late last year. I felt as though the course and conditions would suit me and play to my strengths. However, I tested positive two weeks ago with flu-like symptoms for the first three days and then feeling very tired and fatigued after the initial symptoms subsided. I have been taking it easy and am now only really getting back into training, and I’m still unable to train anywhere near like I would normally do or like I would need to do to be competitive at the world championships.”

That means, despite his strong will to race, Skipper won’t be present in St. George. “I feel if I was to line up in St George, I wouldn’t do myself justice and I wouldn’t be competitive in my current state”, he explains. “I would also run the risk of long-term damage and potentially writing the rest of this year off and who knows what else.”