Is Fremantle’s Johan Borg Ironman’s next big thing?

Emerging talent Johan Borg, at just 23 years old, secures a notable 6th place finish in only his second professional Ironman race at Ironman Western Australia.

Is Fremantle’s Johan Borg Ironman’s next big thing?
Johan’s swim set him up for a great race

WA’s Tom Kroyer put us on to this young gun a while ago and he didn’t disappoint at Ironman WA. Johan Borg may not be a name familiar to many of you, but the 23 year old physiotherapy major from Fremantle WA certainly caught the attention of a few with his 6th placed finish at Ironman Western Australia last weekend. At 23 Johan is eleven years younger than the winner Jimmy Johnsen and five years younger than any other professional male on race day.

It was only Johan’s second race as a professional athlete and third Ironman race he has started. We predict a big future for the Swedish born Western Australian. The Trizone crew caught up with Johan for a few words post race.

Trizone: Johan, can you talk about your race at Busselton and how it went for you?

It started with a pretty slow swim as I got dropped from the second swim pack after about 1km. Once I got on the bike my race started getting better, I rode by myself for the first 90km before I caught up to Jason Shorts and later Petr Vanbrousek and rode with them to the end of the bike.

I was really happy with my marathon, I started out pretty quick pace and managed not to slow down too much over the 42km. I felt great and passed quite a few guys in the first half of the run but then with 15km to go I started hurting and my pace slowed up a bit but only got passed by Petr Vanbrousek near the end. I crossed the line in 8:43 which was good enough for 6th and a PB, I was stoked!

Trizone: You left T2 running next to the legend in Jason Shortis nearly 19 years your senior, did you guys speak and how long did you hang on?

A 3:03 marathon was a perfect way to finish the day

I tried to stay with Shorto, but after 500m I checked my watch we were running at 3:15min/km, so thought it was best to let him go to not blow up. Shorto put a few hundred meters on me in the first few km that stayed about the same distance for the first 25km before he pulled away further. We didn’t talk during the race but had a good chat after.

Trizone: what other IM races have you completed and how have you finished?

Only two, I did Ironman New Zealand in 2011 as an age grouper and had a great race and finished 13th overall. This February I raced Ironman Melbourne as professional but didn’t have a great day and just scraped into the top100.

Trizone: You were born in Sweden and came to Australia when you were in high school, did you begin racing triathlon’s in Sweden?

I started Triathlon when I came to Australia in 2005, before that I had just done some running and mountain biking.

Trizone: What is on schedule for you for 2013?

Not entirely sure yet but probably Busselton 70.3 in May and Ironman Cairns in June as well as some shorter local races.

Johan was strong on the bike

Trizone: Can you describe a typical mid season training week for you?

Usually about 8-12km of swimming (should really be doing more) 350-450km of cycling and 75-85km of running.

Trizone: Do you train with anyone on a regular basis?

I swim with a tri squad and usually got company on my long ride and run on the weekend, otherwise mostly by myself.

Trizone: What sports did you take part when you grew up?

Soccer, floor ball, mountain biking and running but nothing at a serious level until I started Triathlon.

Trizone: What is your favourite race and why?

It’s now Ironman WA because that’s where I’ve had my best result and it’s also so close to where I live. The local support is outstanding and It’s just a great fast course.

Trizone: What is going on for you in terms of sponsorships?

I do a bit of training and coaching with Break Your Limits and through them I get support from K Swiss Australia, I also get some support from Felt and Hed.

Trizone: Where do you think you’ll be in 5 years?

Working part-time as physio while trying to win my first Ironman and qualifying for Hawaii.

Trizone: Is there anything else we should know about you?

I’m transport challenged as I haven’t passed my driving licence test yet.

Name Country Swim Bike Run Finish Div. Rank Overall
JOHNSEN, Jimmy Denmark 0:51:51 4:38:38 2:54:42 8:29:06 1 1
REICHEL, Horst Germany 0:48:50 4:39:52 3:01:50 8:34:49 2 2
WHITE, Matty Australia 0:51:49 4:38:29 3:03:57 8:38:05 3 3
SHORTIS, Jason Australia 0:53:56 4:42:11 2:58:19 8:38:30 4 4
VABROUSEK, Petr Czech Republic 0:54:02 4:42:10 3:01:37 8:41:47 5 5
BORG, Johan Australia 0:57:08 4:38:53 3:03:45 8:43:55 6 6
CHAPMAN, Leigh Australia 0:49:37 4:46:50 3:07:43 8:48:29 1 7
COTTER, Ben Canada 1:00:59 4:35:45 3:07:52 8:48:45 7 8
BILLEAU, Simon France 0:54:03 4:34:30 3:18:55 8:51:18 8 9
BREWER, Justin Australia 0:46:59 4:35:48 3:25:12 8:52:56 1 10