Dirk Bockel’s final preparation for Saturday’s all-important Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, was disrupted last Friday, when Bockel hit his right hand against the mirror of the team car during a bottle exchange when running.
Bockel suffered a spiral fracture of the fourth metacarpal. Team doctor Andreas Goesele: “This is obviously a serious fracture, especially when talking about swimming, where the hand will be under a lot of pressure. This accident comes at the worst possible moment for Dirk, but he’s a very strong man and I’m convinced that he will be able to turn his anger into energy.”
In a sport which centers on dedication and courage, Bockel hasn’t lost his focus on the race. Bockel: “An Ironman is very much a mental task, as much as it is a physical effort. The timing is really horrible, but I will be in the water at 6:30 AM on Saturday, as was the plan ever since. I’m in a great shape and I have been training for this race for the entire season. I’m not going to give up that easily.”
Bockel will swim with a splint that will give him more stability in the right hand. On the bike and in the run, the main difficulty will be grabbing bidons.
Bockel: “I’m going to make the best out of this nightmare. I’m still very optimistic that I can do a good result on the most important race of the year.”