Cunnama, Sämmler win big at IRONMAN Hamburg

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James Cunnama dominates the debut edition of IRONMAN Hamburg

South African comes close to a second career Sub-8 iron-distance finish

Renowned for its exceptional location on the World Triathlon Series circuit, Hamburg in Germany yesterday welcomed IRONMAN to the city.

A relatively late season timing is always going to limit entries from many of the Kona focussed athletes, but one man who will be in Kona – James Cunnama – certainly wasn’t using that as an excuse to either not race or indeed take it easy.

An 8:00:36 time gave him a huge victory margin of almost 22 minutes, and a 4:24 bike split combined with a 2:40 marathon suggests that he is back to his very best. Remember, James finished fourth at the IRONMAN World Championships  in 2013. A class act, 8:00:36 isn’t even a distance PB for him, as he clocked 7:59:59 when wining Challenge Roth in 2012.

The women’s race was similarly dominated by one woman. Daniella Sämmler was first out of the swim (55:53), set the fastest bike time by a significant margin (4:55:24), and then her closing 3:08:53 marathon was more than good enough to still maintain a winning margin approaching 16 minutes at the finish.

Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images for IRONMAN

No British Pro athletes racing in Hamburg yesterday, but Age-Group athlete Charles Pennington (a Kona podium finisher in 2015) won the 35-39 category to secure another Kona start for him and his Team Freespeed outfit, who will have perhaps their largest ever presence in Hawaii this October.

IRONMAN Hamburg – Sunday 13th August 2017
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km



1st – James Cunnama (RSA) – 8:00:36
2nd – Horst Reichel (GER) – 8:22:27
3rd – Markus Fachbach (GER) – 8:25:36
4th – Carlos Lopez Diaz (ESP) – 8:35:36
5th – Alexander Schilling (GER) – 8:42:05

Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images for IRONMAN


1st – Daniella Sämmler (GER) – 9:07:49
2nd – Eva Wutti (AUT) – 9:23:25
3rd – Kristen Moller (GER) – 9:49:43

Photo by Joern Pollex/Getty Images for IRONMAN


1st – Charles Pennington (35-39) – 9:04:13

John Levison
Article by
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in the sport for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages. While his passion is triathlon, you'll also find him watching Boxing, Darts or at the theatre enjoying a good musical...