Home comforts: Amberger targets IRONMAN Australia after Visa woes

With St George ruled out, Aussie targets home race and bids to book Kona slot in the process

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Australian Josh Amberger will look to secure an 2022 IRONMAN World Championship berth at IRONMAN Australia on May 1 as Visa woes have put paid to his chances of racing at the delayed 2021 event in St George.

Amberger has qualified the May 7 spectacle but is unable to attend due to problems obtaining a Visa to enter the United States.

The issues forced the 32-year-old to miss the inaugural Couple Championship in Florida in March – the Aussie enduring 24 hours in immigration detention before being returned to Australia.

“There was a dispute with my Visa and it has since been cancelled,” explained the 2017 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Champion at the time.

With the visa issues still unresolved, Amberger will stay on home soil and look to earn a spot at the Kona World Championship in October.

Plan B still ‘a great option’

“In two weeks time I’ll be towing the line at Ironman Australia,” Amberger posted on Facebook.

“It’s a great option for me to head to Port Macquarie, as it fits the preparation I’ve done year to date and I very much enjoy racing there.

“It’s also a good chance to secure the Kona Qualification for October. After this, I’ll be off to Europe for some more racing.”

“This means I won’t be racing at the World Champs in Utah the following weekend, as the new visa petition isn’t something that has been achieved in the short space of time afforded to me.”

IRONMAN Australia returns for the first time since 2019 after cancellations due to COVID-19. Amberger will be joined on the start line by the likes of Tim Van Berkel and Tim Reed, with Sarah Crowley heading the women’s field in Port Macquarie.

Stuart Dick
Written by
Stuart Dick
Stuart is a graduate of the University of Sunderland with a masters' degree in Sports Journalism. He spends a lot of his time running and cycling around West Yorkshire, England.
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