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PTO World #14 says every race requires top shape, with standards set to continue to rise in 2024

Frederic Funk told TRI247 that the level has never been higher on the professional side of the sport.

Staff Reporter
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Ahead of one of the biggest triathlon seasons ever, we spoke to German rising star Frederic Funk about the insane standard set by the professionals right now.

Funk, who finished second at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship last year, said that even the smallest races require athletes to be in top shape to take home the win.

Reflecting on his career best season in 2023, the 26-year-old explained how his results had given him a newfound confidence to chase even loftier ambitions in 2024.

“The level of triathlon has risen insanely high”

Despite picking up three race wins in 2023, Funk said that every time he stepped on a start line he had to be prepared to give it his all, even in the smaller races.

Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade / Challenge Walchsee 2023

“My main takeaway from 2023 is definitely that the level of triathlon has risen insanely high, meaning that even in the smaller races you have to prepare 100%.

“There is no such thing as a training race anymore. If you want to win a race, you always have to be in the best shape possible to compete.

“Of course this has always been true for races like the IRONMAN World Championship and the PTO Tour, but it now extends to even the smallest of races.”

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“It was a near perfect race for me”

One event that Funk was in top shape for last year was the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, where he walked away with second place after a German sweep of the podium.

Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade / Challenge Walchsee 2023

“My biggest high last year was obviously the second place at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. It was nearly a perfect race for me on the day.

“Unfortunately, another German Rico Bogen was better than me on the day, but other than that I am really happy with my performance.

“That race really gave me a good amount of confidence, that looking ahead to this year, I can bring to my races and hopefully have more success.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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