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Laura Philipp says Roth 2024 is a ‘better challenge’ now as she relishes big Anne Haug showdown

They were both on the podium last year and Laura Philipp is looking forward to another great battle with Anne Haug on Sunday.

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Laura Philipp says the late decision of Anne Haug to add her name to the Challenge Roth start list has made it a “better challenge”.

A week ago, world number six Philipp looked the overwhelming favourite for a first Roth victory on what will be her second attempt at the race. Els Visser – at #20 in the PTO rankings – was her only rival in the top 20.

That was in stark contrast to last year when Philipp was third in one of the greatest races in women’s long-distance triathlon history.

Daniela Ryf was a class apart that day as she rewrote the Ironman record books by taking nearly 10 minutes off the previous best full-distance time set by Chrissie Wellington way back in 2011.

But two-time Roth winner Haug in second (8:21:09) and Philipp in third (8:25:31) more than played their part too.

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‘Looking forward to this second chance’

Ever since that memorable day, Philipp has been looking forward to a return.

She said at the pre-race press conference: “This race is highly important to me. It’s my first season highlight and I’ve been looking forward to it since I crossed the line last year.

“Preparation has been good, and I have trained well; I’ve gone through some races this year, and that helped me to gain mental strength from race to race, and now I’m really looking forward to my first long-distance of the year. I’m interested to see what my form will be.”

Her form at middle distance has certainly been impressive. Four races and not once out of the top four, with a win at IRONMAN 70.3 Kraichgau where she defended her title and then a third behind Taylor Knibb and Kat Matthews last time out at T100 San Francisco.

Since then, things have gone like clockwork: “Everything has been planned and I’ve done some relaxation in the lead-in and I’m wanting to see how I can perform.

“I’m grateful that I’m here back again, healthy and happy, and I’m looking forward to this second chance.”

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Win ‘would be worth even more’

Philipp remains the highest-ranked athlete in the women’s race at Roth but the addition of Haug, #8 in the standings, adds a different dynamic to the race – and one which Philipp is relishing.

She said: “I’d like to win of course, but the winning chances were diminished by Anne starting.

But the challenge has grown because of this and it has become a better challenge.

“So if I was able to earn a victory it would be worth even more with Anne in the field. I’m looking forward to a very special race.”

Laura Philipp Challenge Roth press conference 2024 Photo credit: Heike Liedtke Challenge Roth
Laura Philipp chats to the media [Photo credit: Heike Liedtke | Challenge Roth]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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