Graham Shaw2 Nov 2021

‘It’s coming to an end’ – Sebastian Kienle will retire in 2023

Sebi always wanted "a clear finish line" and it will be at the end of 2023.
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Sebastian Kienle’s retirement from professional triathlon won’t come today or tomorrow, but he knows exactly when “the finish line” will arrive – a finish line he has now announced to the world.

The German star has revealed that he will end his career after the 2023 season, relaying the news in a freshly-released video on his YouTube channel.

‘Two more years – then that’s it’

The hugely popular 37-year-old said: “It’s not gonna end this year, it’s not gonna end next year. I’ll make it short, I’m gonna do another two years, and then that’s it.

“It feels kind of strange to actually announce this. Obviously in the last couple of weeks I’ve thought a lot about it, talked to a lot of people, family mainly of course, sponsors that supported me over a very long time, and in the last two years I quite often had the feeling: ‘f*** it, I’m gonna retire after this session or just like right now and not do anything again in the sport’.

YouTube video

“Of course you have stretches like this over such a long career and you learn to ignore these voices, because there are other voices and those are telling you ‘it’s an absolutely great life, you love what you do’ and so on.

“In the last two years, definitely these thoughts have been growing, and I have to admit that – especially after I decided to drop out at Challenge Roth – I knew I need some sort of a finish line.

“I’m not gonna criticise any other athletes, but I always wanted to retire with a clear finish line and this finish line will be at the end of 2023.”

Kienle on 2022 and 2023

Kienle, IRONMAN World Champion in Kona in 2014 and two-time 70.3 World Champion in 2012 and 2013, has a very defined plan for what the remainder of his career holds.

“So next year I’m gonna try to win another world title on a long course in either St George or Kona,” he explained.

“And then 2023 is gonna be the farewell world tour. I’m gonna do a couple of races that I’ve never been able to do before, and see a couple of places I wanted to see again. And then that’s it. I will not do another triathlon after 2023.”

Kienle says he will try to stay active post-retirement, but it will not be by doing triathlons and going through the pressure he’s experienced in recent times. Troubles with his Achilles have plagued him in recent years.

“Maybe I’m gonna do a swim/run and some gravel races for sure, because I just don’t wanna stop like and then that’s it. Because I still really enjoy this active lifestyle. But not with the pressure I’ve been putting on myself in the last one-and-a-half years any more. And yeah, that’s it, that’s the end of my career then.”

Kienle content incoming

There is good news for the many Kienle fans out there ahead of this retirement plan – Sebi says he wants to start producing more content, partly so he has it to look back on in future years.

“I also have to say it’s been an amazing time in the last 20 years in the sport, the sport has given me so much and all you guys – either doing the sport yourself or following along – it has been absolutely great.

“I want to enjoy the next two years and we are also gonna do a little bit more on the YouTube channel again. Maybe I want to do it for myself, to be able to look back in 10 years because the Internet doesn’t forget anything.

“Maybe I just want to do it for myself but you are very welcome to follow me in these last two years, first trying to win another World Championship title and then to see a lot of amazing places and hopefully to see a couple of the people I’ve been doing the sport with. I’m planning to visit a couple of these athletes on my trip, and yeah, enjoy!