“Almost inexplicable” – Fatal accident at the Ironman in Hamburg
At the Ironman Hamburg there is a dramatic accident on the bike course. A motorcyclist and an amateur athlete collide, leaving one dead and two injured. The race will still continue. The organizer has been silent so far.
EIt was supposed to be the big triathlon highlight, with Jan Frodeno’s return to the long distance after a long break due to injury. But all of that is secondary at the Ironman Hamburg: In the field of age group athletes, there was a fatal accident with fatal consequences.
After the pros, the age group starters went on the 3.8-kilometer swim course on the Jungfernstieg in the early morning, followed by the 180-kilometer bike course. There, at around 8.45 a.m., there was a serious collision on the main Gauerter dike between a British amateur athlete and a motorcyclist on an escort vehicle. as the ARD “Sportschau” reports. Accordingly, motorcyclists and cyclists collided head-on. As at the accident site, the route runs in opposite directions over large parts, so that the starters and escort vehicles pass each other.
In the accident in the Ochsenwerder district in the south-east of the city, three people were seriously injured, it was said. Shortly afterwards it became known: the 70-year-old motorcyclist did not survive the accident. The police operations manager confirmed to the ARD “Sportschau” that the man had died at the scene of the accident. The 26-year-old triathlete was seriously injured, but according to the current status not in mortal danger. The cameraman, who was sitting backwards on the motorcycle, suffered a shock and was taken to a hospital like the participant.
It is not yet known exactly how the accident happened on the straight stretch along the dyke. “The background to the collision – whether it was medically necessary for the motorcyclist – is purely speculative,” said the ARD operations manager. “It’s almost impossible to explain whether there was any evasive behavior because it’s a straight stretch. Actually an unspectacular route for this area.”
The race continues
The race was about to be stopped after the accident, the following drivers had to interrupt the race. Then there were absurd scenes: Since the bike course in Hamburg consists of two laps on the same route, the athletes had to pass the accident site on the second loop, which had not yet been cleared, got off their bikes there and pushed them over the dike. They didn’t know what happened there.
When the information about the motorcyclist’s death came, the ARD broke off its live stream, but the race continued. According to the Hamburg organizers, the decision will be made in the USA. The World Triathlon Corporation, which owns the Ironman brand and markets it worldwide, is based in Tampa, Florida.
Hours after the accident, the organizer gave no official information or a statement about the accident. The live stream on the Ironman channels continues, the triathletes on the track don’t know anything about the outcome of the accident. After a shitstorm under the live stream, the comment function will be switched off.
In the end, Frenchman Denis Chevrot wins ahead of Belgian Pieter Heermeryck and Denmark’s Kristian Hogenhaug. Jan Frodeno finishes on the Rathausmarkt 5:18 minutes after Chevrot. In view of the death of the motorcyclist and the seriously injured participant, the sporting result is of secondary importance.