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Lionel Sanders says he is committed to the process after IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside victory

Lionel Sanders (CAN) reflects on his performance at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, where he secured his third title at the event in emphatic fashion.

Staff Reporter
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After a stunning victory at the first race of the IRONMAN Pro Series in Oceanside, fan favourite Lionel Sanders admitted the game had changed since he last won in Southern California.

Back in 2017, Sanders was victorious in 3:50:04, but had to go almost four minutes quicker on Saturday as the top four finishers were within his winning time from seven years ago.

Attributing his progress to his hard work and dedication, the Windsor native commented that whilst he was still trying to piece together the puzzle in training, the picture was becoming slowly clearer.

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“The game has changed”

Up against stiff competition in the form of North American rivals Sam Long and Jackson Laundry, plus Belgian Olympian Jelle Geens, Sanders said he had to work every step of the way in Oceanside.

“I mean the game has changed, when I won here it was quite a while ago now and it feels like it was a long time ago, so I’ve had to work at every three discipline to come back here and win however many years later.

“The competition is amazing now, there’s no room for weakness, no room for mental weakness and I had to fight hard right to the finish, so it’s a very sweet victory.” 

“Swimming is by far the most difficult to improve”

After putting together what he described as a near career best swim, Mr “No Limits” broke down the hard work it has taken to bring his ability in the water up to a level where it is competitive.

Lionel Sanders at the press conference ahead of 70.3 World Championship 2023
[Photo credit: Ville Kashkivirta / IRONMAN]

“As you know, swimming is by far the most difficult to improve if you don’t have any talent like myself. It is an extreme work in progress and through this week I am averaging 33km a week.

“That’s not all of the puzzle, but certainly a part of it is working hard at what you’re not very good at, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m committed to continuing to progress, and there’s no room for weakness, you just have to work.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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