Svenja Thoes reinstated as IRONMAN Ireland 2022 winner

Chief Correspondent

Around five months after crossing the line first at the 2022 IRONMAN Ireland, Germany’s Svenja Thoes has finally been officially confirmed by IRONMAN as the winner of the race.

Initially disqualified from the event for alleged outside assistance, the prize ceremony saw the top trophy go to Great Britain’s Simone Mitchell, adding another IRONMAN title to her 2019 win at IRONMAN Wales.

But after an appeal by Thoes, the disqualification has been overturned and she has been officially reinstated as the race winner.

Three IRONMAN wins in 2022

“I’m super happy and overwhelmed,” Thoes told us about the decision, adding that she’s just restarted her training but has yet to map out her 2023 race schedule.

Having also won at IRONMAN France and IRONMAN Emilia-Romagna, Thoes now adds a third M-Dot win in the calendar year, alongside a previous victory at IRONMAN Cozumel in November 2018.

At the time of the disqualification, the statement issued by IRONMAN stated that, “The appeals process remains open to the athlete per regular competition rules, whereafter results will be finalised.”

IRONMAN Ireland, Cork 2022 - Svenja Thoes, Simone Mitchell, Laura Zimmerman
Photo Credit: Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN

While this news has been ‘out there’ for a few weeks now – including from Svenja’s own social media accounts – we’ve been chasing IRONMAN for their official line on the matter before publication. And here is that statement in full:

On 14th August 2022, Svenja Thoes was first female to cross the finish line at IRONMAN Ireland. She was later disqualified on the basis of having received illegal outside assistance.

Contrary to the outcome of prior appeals of her disqualification, an independent court has since called for the disqualification to be overturned, deeming the outside assistance she received as making no difference to the race outcome. As a result, Svenja Thoes will be reinstated as the winner of 2022 IRONMAN Ireland triathlon and IRONMAN can confirm Svenja will receive the winner’s prize money allocation.

The original prize money allocations that were paid out and the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship slots that were provided remain intact. IRONMAN remains committed to conduct of athlete policies regarding outside assistance.

2022 PTO Rankings impacts

The reinstatement of Svenja Thoes as race winner in Cork also saw the German athlete improve her PTO Ranking, when the final and official 2022 numbers were signed off recently.

Svenja Thoes 2022 PTO Ranking prior to IRONMAN Ireland adjustment
Source: PTO Rankings (before Ireland reinstatement)

The final rankings for the year are based up the average of the best three scoring results of an athlete through the 2022 season, with a 10% uplift (where applicable) to an athlete’s best full distance result during that calendar year. In this context, the ‘score’ is the statistical output from the PTO’s algorithm, which is designed to assess the relative strength of that performance, irrespective of position / status of the race etc.

As you can see above, the Alpe D’Huez Long Course event (where she was second) was previously her third scoring event, with 69.00 points. With IRONMAN Ireland now included, her score there was assessed as 75.78. Swapping those out, her points average improved to 85.10 (for 32nd position), jumping up three places (82.84, for 37th).

While there was a move up the standings, there won’t be any additional $$$ changes however, as everyone in positions 21-50 receive the same end-of-year bonus of $5,000.

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