IRONMAN explain reasons for Justine Mathieux DQ in South Africa

News Director

Justine Mathieux was disqualified for an infringement on the bike after originally finishing third behind Laura Philipp and Fenella Langridge at IRONMAN South Africa on Sunday – and the organisers have today revealed exactly why.

The Frenchwoman led the chase group early on the bike in pursuit of Philipp, Langridge and Jade Roberts and by T2 was a clear second behind Philipp.

She crossed the line in third, 52 seconds adrift of Langridge, to register what would have been a hugely significant result in the relatively early stages of her career.

But not long after the finish she’d disappeared from the IRONMAN tracker and she didn’t feature on the podium.

Organisers reveal reason for DQ

She posted herself on social media later calling it an “injustice” (see below) and we contacted IRONMAN to establish exactly what had led to the disqualification.

And an IRONMAN spokesperson told us: “Justine Mathieux was issued a penalty on the bike course by a referee for an incomplete pass.

“Justine failed to serve the penalty on the bike course but instead served the penalty mid-way through the run leg which led to her being disqualified.

“Justine was not immediately stopped as athletes are entitled to complete the entire course, and lodge an appeal post-race.”

Mathieux calls it an ‘injustice’

“There is a first time for everything, and this is the first time in my short career that I have suffered such injustice,” wrote Mathieux on her Instagram page within hours of the DQ.

“On the bike when I tried to pass the group to escape at the end of the first lap, I didn’t, in other words, pass fast enough (I was last in the group at the time, as I had just dropped my nutrition and was planning to go back up the front).”

She added that she felt the referee didn’t flag the penalty at that point – in what were tough rainy and windy conditions – and said she only heard of the disqualification when crossing the finish line.

That prompted us to reach out to IRONMAN to establish the exact process from their perspective.

The consequences of a disqualification are severe for Mathieux. The prize money for third was $9,000, there were automatic qualification slots for the IRONMAN World Championship for the top four, plus PTO rankings points and much more.

Her removal from the results meant Penny Slater moved up to third and Laura Zimmerman took the fourth Kona spot despite finishing well over five minutes adrift of Mathieux.

Philipp Langridge Slater IRONMAN SA podium 2023
Mathieux was conspicuous by her absence from the podium shots [Photo credit: IRONMAN South Africa]
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