Germans dominate second Slovenian Half Ironman
The second place at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 Slovenian Istria went to Slovenia's Jure Majdič with the time of 4:17:37, the best Slovenian result for this race.
While Majdič was happy with the second place, he said he had not expected to break the Slovenian record. "I raced my own race and gave my very best," he said.
Placing third was another German, Lasse Ibert, who finished in 4 hours, 20 minutes and 7 seconds.
Last year, when Slovenia hosted the event for the first time, victory went to Polish Michal Rajca, who closed in 4:18:52.
A day without much sun and wind and with moderate temperatures provided excellent conditions for a record 1,700 athletes from 53 countries to compete. Last year, the race attracted some 300 fewer athletes.
The Istria Half Ironman is intended for recreational athletes. However, the top performers are eligible for Age Group slots at the 2020 World Championship in New Zealand. The number of these slots has increased from 30 last year to 40.
The race's director general, Milan Eržen, labelled the event a success.
"We've managed to increase the number of participants, and the race has attracted many spectators. The weather was perfect, it wasn't too hot and there was practically no wind," he told the STA.
Eržen believes the race could grow to welcome from 2,000 to 2200 participants, which "is the number I think Koper can still take".
The plan is too stick to it for the coming two to three years, while expanding it further would require changes to logistics, he noted.