Kristian Blummenfelt ruled out of WTCS opener in Abu Dhabi

It's been announced that the reigning Olympic - and 70.3 - champion will miss this week's first WTCS event due to illness

News Director
Last updated -

Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt will miss the opening WTCS event of the season in Abu Dhabi this week due to illness.

The Norwegian has carried all before him after moving up to long-distance in an incredible 12 months since his Tokyo triumph in 2021.

He was crowned IRONMAN World Champion in St George last May and landed the 70.3 crown at the same location last October.

But the focus since then had been on moving back down in distance ahead of his Olympic defence in Paris next year.


Early setback for ‘Big Blu’

Kristian Blummenfelt photo credit: PTO Canadian Open
Kristian Blummenfelt [Photo credit: PTO Canadian Open]

Both he and compatriot Gustav Iden, the record-breaking IMWC winner in Kona late last year, were scheduled to make their seasonal reappearances in Abu Dhabi but a World Triathlon press release confirmed Blummenfelt “misses out with illness.”

Iden is still part of a stacked startlist along with the two men who joined ‘Big Blu’ on the Tokyo podium – Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde.

Be sure to check out our full preview of Friday’s races.

The next WTCS event of the season doesn’t come until May – Yokohama on the 13th, which is in close proximity to Blummenfelt’s potential clash with Jan Frodeno at the PTO European Open in Ibiza on the 6th.

But writing on Instagram, Blummenfelt indicated he still intends to take on both, explaining: “Dropping out of the World Series race in Abu Dhabi this weekend after having lost too many days of training due to sickness in the build up. Taking the time to get ready for the races in May with the second and third round of the series + PTO Ibiza.”

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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