A sinus infection has forced New Zealand triathlete Terenzo Bozzone to withdraw from the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas tomorrow.
Bozzone, 27, said he was hugely disappointed to be forced to withdraw, as the 2008 world champion had just come back into form after 18 months of indifferent results.
The New Zealander won Ironman 70.3 Basil 12 days ago and was just pipped for a second win in Ironman 70.3 in Ireland last weekend.
While the turnaround in fortunes gave the kiwi a real boost in confidence, ironically it may have contributed to his demise. He has made back-to-back long-haul flights in eight days, and he awoke today with his sinuses blocked, and also painful blocked ears.
â€œI think maybe I made one too many Trans-Atlantic fights. Blocked ears and airways do not bode well for a fast race,â€ Bozzone said.
â€œI am desperately disappointed to have to withdraw from this race but I wouldn’t have been doing myself any favours, either in the race or long term, to line up with such an incredible line up of pro triathletes knowing I was not going to be able to breathe properly.
â€œI have managed to tick a couple big boxes these past two weeks which I know will be a stepping stone to much greater results in the near future. I am going to rest up and get healthy, then plan my attack on the last part of the triathlon season and finish on a high.â€
New Zealand still boasts a strong contingent with seven competing in the elite competition headed by two-time Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty, Auckland’s Callum Millward, Taranaki’s Shanon StallardÂ and Glenbrook’s James Bowstead in the men, with the super-experienced Jo Lawn (Auckland) joined by Mid-Canterbury’s Julia Grant and US-based Rachel Challis in the women.
There are also 13 New Zealanders who have qualified in the age group divisions.
The race starts at 6.30am on Sunday local time.