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Magnus Ditlev is new men’s world number one – despite Roth rankings ‘anomaly’

Great Dane takes over top spot in the standings for the very first time after his record-breaking victory at Challenge Roth.

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Magnus Ditlev has taken over as the men’s world number one in the latest PTO rankings following his record-breaking Challenge Roth win.

The great Dane has been in the top four of the standings for the last two years but never occupied the number one spot – until now.

However he actually scored fewer ranking points for his actual Roth performance than 12 months previously, despite going more than a minute quicker and winning far more emphatically. Here’s why…

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Better performance but fewer points – initially

In 2023 Ditlev successfully defended his title at Challenge Roth and in the process set the fastest-ever men’s full-distance time* of seven hours, 24 minutes and 40 seconds, beating runner-up Patrick Lange by just over five minutes.

That *asterisk is there because Kristian Blummenfelt clocked 7:21:12 at IRONMAN Cozumel in 2021 but in the confusing world of fastest times, that has largely been downgraded because it was a down current swim.

And last Sunday, Ditlev went one better at Roth as he made it three wins on the trot in Bavaria with a time of 7:23:24 to win by a massive 14-and-a-half minutes.

The strength of field – click here for an explanation of what that means – was stronger too, 91.65 compared to 89.81.

So given this unprecedented performance, why did Ditlev ‘only’ initially earn 95.56 PTO ranking points, less than his 96.82 from 12 months previously?

It’s all to do with the race tier of Roth this year – it was ‘Platinum’ in 2023 but only ‘Gold’ this time around.

Diamond (T100 races and the IRONMAN World Championships) is top of the pile, then Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze – and that gets factored into the ceiling of points available in the scoring algorithm.

But the good news for Ditlev is there’s a 5% bonus available applied to an athlete’s best score at a Gold tier or below event which pushes him up to 100.34pts for Roth this year and actually makes the difference between first and second, so it’s swings and roundabouts!

Magnus Ditlev wins Challenge Roth 2024 [Photo credit: Simon Fischer | Challenge Roth]
Magnus Ditlev wins Challenge Roth 2024 [Photo credit: Simon Fischer | Challenge Roth]

American Sam Long is the man displaced at the top of the standings – he’s on an average of 96.52 points for his best three races compared to Ditlev’s 97.41 points.

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Haug back into stellar top four

Meanwhile in the women’s rankings it will come as no surprise that Anne Haug, who shattered the previous all-time women’s best at Challenge Roth, is the big mover.

The German superstar knocked nearly six minutes off Daniela Ryf’s own incredible time from last year’s Roth to move up from eighth to fourth, again netting a 5% bonus to rack up a combined 99.78 points for Sunday’s heroics.

And all four of the top women – Taylor Knibb, Ashleigh Gentle and Lucy Charles-Barclay are the trio ahead of Haug – have average ranking scores of higher than 98 points.

Anne Haug wins Challenge Roth 2024 [Photo credit: Simon Fischer | Challenge Roth]
Anne Haug celebrates an historic win [Photo credit: Simon Fischer | Challenge Roth]
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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