Switzerland's Natascha Badmann has won the women's Ironman contest in Hawaii. Badmann's win caps an incredible year for Swiss triathletes following Brigitte McMahon's gold and Magali Messmer's bronze at the Sydney Olympics.
Badmann completed the gruelling course in just under nine and a half hours to regain the title she won in 1998. The Ironman contest involves a 3.8 kilometre swim, 180 kilometre cycle ride and 42 kilometre run.
The 33-year-old Swiss woman finished more than two and a half minutes in front of Canada's Lori Bowden, who won the competition last year, and Brazil's Fernanda Keller.
A fantastic performance by Badmann during the cycling stage was to ensure her victory. The Swiss athlete overcame sweltering conditions and technical problems with her saddle and handlebar to knock more than three minutes off her 1998 cycling time.
The Hawaii title, accompanied by a cheque for $70,000 and a car worth $30,000, was Badmann's sixth world championship title. As well as her two Ironman triumphs she has won two team golds and two individual golds in the duathlon world championships.
In a massive field of some 1,500 participants only 60 men were able to cross the line ahead of Badmann. Lori Bowden's husband Peter Reid was the fastest man, followed by America's Timothy DeBoom and Germany's Normann Stadler.
Christoph Mauch was the best placed of the Swiss men. The 29-year-old from Sempach was nine minutes off becoming the first Swiss man on the podium since 1985.
swissinfo with agencies