John Levison13 Jan 2022

IRONMAN World Championship 2022: Pro qualifiers for Kona

The lowdown on which athletes have qualified for that return to the 'Big Island'.
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The IRONMAN World Championship is the event every elite athlete wants to win, but first they have to make sure they are among the qualifiers.

Typically held in Kailua-Kona, on the west coast of Hawaii Island (‘The Big Island’), the race brings together the very best long-distance triathletes on the planet to compete for the coveted title.

The inaugural event back in 1978 was the brainchild of US Navy Commander John Collins and his wife Judy, with 15 competitors taking on the gruelling course.

US Navy Communications Specialist Gordon Haller was crowned as the first-ever IRONMAN Champion, finishing in 11:46:58.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the last ‘Kona’ IRONMAN World Championship was held in October 2019. Following a series of postponements and date changes, there will actually be two IRONMAN World Championship events during 2022.

The postponed October 2021 edition will now take place in St George, Utah on May 7, 2022. The race is then scheduled to return – the subject of this particular feature – back to Hawaii in October 2022.

Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser, Mark Allen and Natascha Badmann are among an array of athletes that have since etched their name into the event’s history by claiming multiple Ironman World Championship titles.

Jan Frodeno is the current course record holder for the men’s race, after his sensational 7:51:13 saw him clinch victory in 2019.

The year prior, Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf clocked a course record for the women’s race, finishing in 8:26:18.

Kona 2022 qualifiers

While qualification is already closed for the May 2022 edition of the race (you can check that list separately), there are plenty of opportunities to come during 2022 for athletes to qualify for the return of the event to it’s spiritual home in early October.

Below is the list of names who have qualified already. We will update this during the season as the 2022 progresses.

PRO MEN (17)

PRO WOMEN (17)

  • Ruth Astle (Great Britain)
  • Lucy Charles-Barclay (Great Britain)
  • Petra Eggenschwiler (Switzerland)
  • Gurutze Frades Larralde (Spain)
  • Anne Haug (Germany)
  • Heather Jackson (United States)
  • Kristin Liepold (Germany)
  • Justine Mathieux (France)
  • Skye Moench (USA)
  • Laura Philipp (Germany)
  • Jade Nicole Roberts (South Africa)
  • Daniela Ryf (Switzerland)
  • Joanna Ryter (Switzerland)
  • Kylie Simpson (Australia)
  • Sara Svensk (Sweden)
  • Annah Watkinson (South Africa)
  • Laura Zimmermann (Germany)

Kona 2022 qualifiers – upcoming races

The first full distance race of the 2022 calendar is IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo on Saturday March 5. The event will offer a total Pro prize purse of $75,000, along with four Kona qualifying slots (two men, two women).

Kyle Smith / IRONMAN New Zealand 2021
Photo Credit: Jemma Wells

From there, the next opportunity will be the IRONMAN African Championship on Sunday April 3, where the slots on offer increase (three men, three women), along with a significantly increased total prize purse ($150,000), given the Continental Championship status.

Kyle Buckingham wins IRONMAN South Africa 2018
Kyle Buckingham wins IRONMAN South Africa in 2018.

When is IRONMAN Kona 2022?

The IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii will take place over two days in 2022. As announced in September 2021, the Pro women will race on Thursday October 6 and the Pro men on Saturday October 8.

The exact start times are to be confirmed nearer to race day, along with details of the live broadcast coverage.