Salzburg (AP) – Two-time Ironman World Champion Patrick Lange has criticized the $ 2.5 million direct payout by the Professional Triathlon Organizaton (PTO) for athletes below the top stars.
«In my opinion, in times like these, it is important to provide financial support to those who are most in need. In our sport, it is usually the case that the first in the rankings have fewer financial problems than emerging athletes, »said the 33-year-old Hawaii champion in 2017 and 2018 in an interview with the« Frankfurter Rundschau ».
The total amount of the PTO increased by half a million US dollars would actually only be paid out after the season as part of the bonus program. Due to the global corona crisis, the PTO preferred payment. The top men and women, Jan Frodeno and Daniela Ryf, will continue to receive $ 100,000. The premiums were increased from rank 21 down. There are 8,000 dollars (around 7,500 euros) for the athletes in places 21 to 50, 5000 for the ranks 51 to 100.
«Due to my success, prize money and sponsorship income from the past years, I am financially very well secured, even without taking part in races in the coming months. However, the situation is different for the majority of professional triathletes and the current crisis will pose an existential threat for some of them, »explained Lange. According to the Hesse, these financially less well-off athletes should receive the greatest benefit from an athlete union.
He himself is not in the top 50 after a disappointing 2019 season. He wants to donate the 5000 euros to a “non-profit organization that is dedicated to researching and combating the corona virus,” announced Bad Wildunger, who now lives in Salzburg.