9h Kyalami

Alessandro Zanardi: new world record in endurance triathlon.

Just one week after winning two more world champion titles in paracycling, BMW works driver Alessandro Zanardi set a new world record in an endurance triathlon. On Saturday, Zanardi competed in the ‘Ironman Italy Emilia-Romagna’ in Cervia, and beat his own record from last year.

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The BMW brand ambassador completed the 3.8 kilometres of swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, 180 kilometres of cycling with his handbike and the concluding 42.2 kilometres marathon distance in his wheelchair in 8:25.30 hours. This is the fastest ever time to date for a physically impaired triathlete. Zanardi was one of the very best athletes taking part in the event and finished in eighth place overall in the field of 2,560 entrants.

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Alex Zanardi

“I’m really pleased,” said Zanardi afterwards. “It was a difficult race to start with because the sea was really choppy. We all had to battle with it, but it was particularly tough for me without legs. That’s why I lost ten minutes compared with last year. But then I was really fast with the handbike, and the running didn’t go badly either. When you consider that I hadn’t trained at all with my racing wheelchair this year, because I was focussing on the paracycling world championship, I’m not only really pleased, but a little bit surprised. Obviously, I am very tired, but very happy.” After just one night of rest, Zanardi contested the Ironman 70.3 on Sunday. He finished the race in 4:31.38 hours.

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