Sebastian Kienle did not get the win in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, but the popular German could not have bee happier despite that.
The former IRONMAN World Champion was run down in the closing stages of IRONMAN South Africa 2021 at Nelson Mandela Bay by his fellow German Maurice Clavel.
Kienle on Clavel
It was a first IRONMAN win for Clavel, and like Kienle’s second place, it also netted him a spot at next year’s World Championship in Kona in October.
Afterwards Sebi, as usual, was all class as he reflected on the result, saying: “I felt really good until I felt bad, how it always is. It was a tough day for everybody out there.
“Maurice came up on the top and I have to say I think I’m as almost happy as I would have won myself. I mean he has to feed a family and pay some diapers, and I know what that means, so therefore I’m really happy for him.”
Sebi on fitness
Kienle admitted afterwards that he was happy to be hurting after a race for the right reasons after so long battling with Achilles problems.
He does feel there is more work to do to get him back to the optimum levels, and admitted he almost passed out during the closing stages of the run.
“I have to say I think I’m still lacking some volume in my training, especially the last 12k, they were like really really hard,” he said.
“I scared myself a little bit because I almost got unconscious at one point on the run. And so therefore I was like ‘okay, bring home the Kona qualification’.
“I would have loved to win of course, but I’m also very happy for Maurice.”