Joe Skipper will not be able to bid for IRONMAN World Championship glory on May 7 in St. George after being forced out of the Utah showdown due to COVID-19.
The British star had hoped to derail the “Norwegian hype train” fueled by superstars Christian Blumenfeldt and Gustav Eden, but that dream is now over.
Skipper has revealed that he is suffering from Covid-19 after a disappointing fourth-place finish at Ironman South Africa in early April. Shortly after, he announced that he was 50-50 into the starting line at St. George.
Spain’s great Javier Gomez was forced to concede defeat when he confirmed his withdrawal on Friday, just 24 hours after Spain’s great Javier Gomez was also forced out due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Joe Skip quits
Skipper wrote in an Instagram post: “I regret to say that due to COVID, I will be withdrawing from the Ironman World Championships in St. George.
“It’s a shame and I’m really disappointed because I’ve been looking forward to this race so much since it was first announced late last year. I feel like the course and conditions seem to suit me and play to my strengths.
“However, I tested positive two weeks ago, had flu-like symptoms for the first 3 days, and then felt very tired and fatigued after the initial symptoms subsided. I’ve been relaxed and now I’m really back in training and I still can’t feel like Train like I usually do, or like I need to do at the World Championships.”
While Skipper was desperate to take on the Norwegian at St George’s, he knew it was going too far.
“I don’t feel like if I’m going to line up at St George’s, I’m not going to do myself justice and I’m not going to be competitive in my current form. I’m also risking long-term damage and possibly the rest of the year A truce in time, who knows what else.”
joe pulling fellow british
While Skipper is understandably disappointed by missing out, he does hope that one of his fellow Brits will take home the triathlon’s top prize on May 7.
“I wish everyone else the best of luck, I can’t wait to race and hopefully the Brits can ride this hype train to the front of the race! 🚂😉”
The Captain is just the latest big name to exit Utah’s spectacular. Defending men’s champion Jan Frodnow was sidelined last week with a partially torn Achilles tendon, while likely women’s favorite Lucy Charles-Barclay was also out with a fractured hip. Then came the news this week that Gomez will miss the big ball too.