Estonian triathlete wins 'closest Ironman finish in history'
Kirill Kotšegarov won the spectacularly close Ironman Chattanooga race, which has been dubbed the closest Ironman finish ever in the history of triathlon, overtaking Matt Chrabot (USA) just meters from the finish line. The Estonian completed the course with a new personal best of 8 hours, 8 minutes and 32 seconds, less than two seconds quicker than Chrabot.
Kotšegarov finished the 3.8-kilometer swimming leg 27th, over 4 minutes behind the leader.
Once on the bike, Kotšegarov quickly pedaled into the top ten and finished the 180-kilometer cycling course less than 2 minutes behind leader Eric Limkemann (USA).
With less than half of the marathon distance to go, Kotšegarov was still over two minutes behind then leader Matt Chrabot. But a few kilometers before the finish line Kotšegarov caught up with Chrabot and an 8-hour effort came down to a sprint finish (video).
Kotšegarov put in a final surge at the end to capture the win by less than two seconds over Chabot. Germany's Stefan Schmid was third, a mere eight seconds after the Estonian ironman.
This is Kotšegarov's second Ironman victory and 8:08:32 marks his new personal best. It is also the second-best national result for long-distance triathlon (3.86 kilometers of swimming, 180.25 kilometers of cycling, and 42.2 kilometers of running).
In March last year, Marko Albert won an Ironman Triathlon series stage in New Zealand.
The Ironman Chattanooga is an Ironman Triathlon stage that takes place in Chattanooga, Tennessee.