Triathlon Ireland – the Irish triathlon federation – did not give permission for the swim of Ironman Cork, where two athletes lost their lives last weekend. Ironman decided to just go ahead with the swim, despite the stormy conditions and the comments of the Triathlon Ireland officials.
Chief executive of Triathlon Ireland, Darren Coombes, commented on the pitch-black day to Sky News. He stressed that the officials who were on the ground did not give Ironman approval for athletes to enter the water. Ironman did shorten the swim distance of the Ironman 140.6 Cork to a 1900-meter swim and the distance of the 70.3 remained the same (1900 meter as well, ed.), but thus did not cancel the swim. Two men, one in his 40s and one in his 60s, lost their lives.
“For the Ironman Cork event, in line with normal practice, Triathlon Ireland technical officials attended before the start of the race to review the conditions and carry out a water safety assessment.
“Due to adverse conditions on the day, Triathlon Ireland technical officials confirmed to the race organisers that it was not possible to sanction the race.”
The race had been moved up a day anyway due to storms, but even on race day conditions were anything but easy. Below is footage of the swim start:
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“As there is an investigation ongoing, at this stage it would not be appropriate for us to make any further comment only to state that Triathlon Ireland will provide any assistance that the authorities require”, Coombes added. “We reiterate our deepest condolences to the families.”