Professional triathlete Iván Raña has won the silver medal at the Ironman African Championship on Sunday. The Spaniard started his fourth season in the World Triathlon Corporation in a groundbreaking fashion.
Raña was one of the favourites to win the South African race alongside Belgian Van Lierde. However the Argonaut, who performed an excellent swim, was out of the water a few seconds behind the leaders. A simply thrilling bike and marathon ensued.
Ready for Kona
Coming out of the water, the weather conditions were ideal for cycling. Once on the saddle riders had to adjust: the conditions quickly became hot and windy. Halfway through the 180-kilometer bike course, Raña kept going in a group of 5 other riders, 5 minutes behind the leader. But the Spaniard stole the show in the marathon with the best split of the day (2:48:44), which allowed him to steal second place with a total time of 8:30:44.
“I hoped it would be a good race to qualify for Kona”, says Raña. “Now I feel faster and better than two years ago or last year. This year, I will try to be focused before the race. Today’s race was a good experience to prepare myself correctly. I like this course; I like the warm weather and the humidity. And it’s hilly. I like to race in similar conditions that I will race in Kona.”
About Iván Raña
In Iván Raña, Argon 18 welcomes a new world champion to its ranks. This 35-year-old Spaniard’s trophy case holds an ITU world title and a European championship, both acquired in 2002. The story of his career also includes chapters written under the Olympic rings: he competed in three Summer Games for Spain, turning in 5th-place finishes in both Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008, and became a headliner on the world triathlon circuit. The Galician has also proven himself outside the discipline, picking up an Aquathlon World Championship in 2001, and enjoying a 2009 stint with Pro Continental cycling team Xacobeo-Galicia.