Arthur Horseau, winner of Ironman Lanzarote last Saturday, will not have to prepare for a trip to the World Championships in Nice. With his victory, he would of course be entitled to a slot, but because he arrived too late at the Slot Award Ceremony, his spot has been given away by Ironman to another athlete.
The so-called roll-down, in which all winners may or may not claim their slot, had already begun when Horseau arrived at the ceremony. At that time, Dane Oliver Martinussen, who finished sixth, had already accepted Horseau’s slot. Posts on social media report that Horseau was late because the organization’s van, which he was in, was delayed.
Ironman’s regulations are clear: you must be on site to accept your slot, even as a pro athlete. Horseau arrived 20 minutes late. Among the pro athletes there were two slots to claim, which would basically go to winner Horseau and runner-up Niek Heldoorn from The Netherlands. Since Horseau’s slot was not immediately claimed by others, Martinussen came forward to receive his qualification for the World Championships Ironman in Nice.
Right at that moment, Horseau would have come in. Martinussen initially wanted to hand over the slot to Horseau, but Ironman said that would no longer be administratively possible. Both were advised to send an e-mail to Ironman. Martinussen tells on his social media that he has made contact with Ironman, but at the same time announced his qualification for Nice. Horseau remains empty-handed for now.
Meanwhile, on Martinussen’s Instagram page, the Dane is being bombarded with hate messages and negative comments from triathlon fans. Martinussen himself also responded. “I tried to help Horseau and I did, because I spoke with Ironman yesterday, as I promised. But I have nothing to say about this myself, so don’t make me the culprit either. It’s all down to Ironman and has nothing to do with me,” the Dane said.