2008 Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno has added another major title with a record-setting effort at the European Championships in Frankfurt. It was a cool perfomance on a very hot day.
With Europe gripped by a heat wave, a 3.8-kilometer swim followed by a 180-kilometer bike ride with a 42.195-kilometer run to top things off is probably not many people's idea of fun.
Cologne-born Jan Frodeno not only survived the exertions of an Ironman triathlon in temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius in Frankfurt. He set a new best time of 7 hours, 49 minutes and 48 seconds for the course on route to his first European championship.
"It's fantastic, even if I'm absolutely exhausted," Frodeno said in a TV interview after crossing the finish line. "I've just missed out on European Championships so many times. It's great that I finally came up with the goods. To be honest, with the exception of the Olympics, there's no bigger stage than this one here."
Frodeno took the lead in the swimming - his speciality - and was able to maintain his advantage in the cycling, his weakest discipline. He finished almost twelve minutes ahead of second-placed Sebastian Kienle, the defending European and reigning world champion. Germany's Andreas Bocherer came in third.
Meanwhile, 2014 world champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland won the women's competition with a time of 8 hours and 51 minutes.