“I was genuinely surprised …” says Robert Matto after he qualifies for Ironman 70.3 World Championships 2022
Gibraltar triathlete Robert Matto received his confirmation this Tuesday afternoon that he had qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships 2022. The event will take place on October 28th in St George, Utah.
The 2022 Ironman World Championship had been originally scheduled to be held in Taupō, New Zealand. This was later this year moved to take place in St .George, Utah, over two days from October 28-29 following the impact of Covid-19 on the sport which had forced to changes to events such as the 2021 competition which was also due to take place in St George as a single day event.
In the announcement notifying of the changes President and Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group Andrew Messick explained at the time the alterations made to the World Championship.
“We have continued to monitor border and travel restrictions closely, and it is increasingly clear that these restrictions are not likely to be relaxed in time for most international athletes to be able to race in St. George,” he said.
“We have a special host partner in St. George and its surrounding communities, and we are looking forward to being able to host a full international two-day race in 2022.”
Robert Matto was confirmed as having qualified for the 2022 World Championships following his success this past weekend at the Marbella Ironman 70.3.
With a time of 04.49.39 he was to finish first in the 45-49 age group finishing eleventh overall, ninth in his gender.
He was to start well with the swim coming out of the water second in his category, fifteenth overall.
Robert was to fall back in the bike run finishing this section of the race in seventh position in his category, 31st overall.
He was, however, to pick up pace in the final run to finish first in his category.
Speaking following his confirmation of a qualifying time for the World Championships 2022 Mr Matto commented, “I was genuinely surprised when I found out that I had won my age-group even though I knew I was making very good progress through the field of competitors as the race unfolded on Sunday. When it dawned on me that AG winners are awarded with a slot at the next Ironman 70.3 World Championships, I was over the moon.”
“Naturally, I am honoured to finally be able to qualify for such a prestigious sporting event, coming after a decade of hard work, many triathlon highs and lows, and an endless commitment to pursuing sporting excellence. None of this would have been possible without the resolute support received from my friends, training companions, and especially family, particularly my wife who has had to buy into this journey too.”