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IRONMAN New Zealand: Marino’s Continental ‘Grand Slam’?

Can Belgium's Marino Vanhoenacker complete a career 'Continental IRONMAN Grand Slam' at IRONMAN New Zealand on Saturday?

Chief Correspondent
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Belgian IRONMAN legend seeks Continental ‘Grand Slam’ in Taupo

Marino Vanhoenacker is one of the most successful – and exciting to watch – IRONMAN athletes in history.

A former world record holder for the distance, he has clocked up an incredible 15 IRONMAN wins in his career (so far), winning at least one IRONMAN in 11 of the last 12 racing seasons. With two victories in both 2015 and 2016, he is not slowing down either. Consistently brilliant.

“I still want to win races. For me, that is the most important thing. When I see other athletes on camps I still feel that I’m a whole lot more motivated than they are, even the young kids, which makes my life easier I guess!

I still think about triathlon the same as when I entered the sport, I’m still hungry.”

At IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo on Saturday, Vanhoenacker will also be seeking to achieve another objective – which would be a first in the history of our sport – to win an IRONMAN on every continent.

Related Article: Marino Vanhoenacker – still hungry for wins

With career wins already in North America (Florida, Chattanooga), South America (Brasil), Europe (Austria, Frannkfurt), Asia (Malaysia) and Africa (South Africa), only Australia/Oceania remains – at least until IRONMAN Antarctica is launched…

With the ‘King of Taupo’, Cameron Brown seeking a 13th victory in his home IRONMAN, it won’t be an easy challenge – with Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), Cyril Viennot (FRA) and others all believing they can win. Full start-list is HERE.

Of course, technically (!) Marino has already won in Taupo – though in 2012, weather meant that the event had to be delayed a day and then held over the 70.3 distance.

A man of principle, Vanhoenacker won’t be counting that. He wants the full set – over the full distance.

Marino Vanhoenacker’s 15 Career Ironman Wins

Year
Event(s)
2005
Ironman Florida
2006
Ironman Austria
2007
Ironman Austria
2008
Ironman Austria
2009
Ironman South Africa, Ironman Austria
2010
Ironman Malaysia, Ironman Austria
2011
Ironman Austria
2012
Ironman Frankfurt (Euro Champs)
2013
N/A
2014
Ironman Canada
2015
Ironman Brasil, Ironman Austria
2016
Ironman Austria, Ironman Chattanooga
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

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