Swiss Miss six-time Kona winner Natascha Badmann joins fellow triathlon legends as Team Europe Collins Cup Captain for this August’s race.
With just one month to go until the first-ever Collins Cup on 28 August, the PTO has announced the final line-up of Collins Cup Captains – including the addition of six-time Ironman World Champion, Natascha Badmann.
Covid travel restrictions have meant Chrissie Wellington has had to bow out of her place as a Team Europe Captain, leaving the way clear for this true legend of the sport. For those who’ve not delved into the history of triathlon, Badmann is truly one of the sport’s brightest, most enduring stars.
The Swiss athlete spent 25 years as a pro and continues to race as an age groper today. After becoming a mother at 17, Badmann picked up jogging to turn her life around and soon found multisport racing with duathlon success.
“not only a riveting competition, but a platform for professionals and fans alike to celebrate our sport”Natascha Badmann – Team Europe Collins Cup Captain
She first raced Kona in 1996, a complete unknown coming second to fellow legend and seven-time Hawaii winner Paula Newby-Fraser. Badmann’s first win on the Big Island came in 1998, where she destroyed the competition with her astounding cycling power and killer smile. That victory began ‘the Badmann era’ in Kona with wins following in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.
Even a horrific crash during the 2007 race couldn’t dim Badmann’s passion for triathlon. Despite two shoulder surgeries and being unable to swim properly, she fought her way back to the top, winning Ironman South Africa in 2011 then going on to set the fastest bike split in Hawaii the next year at the age of 45. Badmann continued to race in the professional ranks until the age of 50 and is now a fearsome age-group racer having won multiple 70.3 events.
“I could not be more thrilled at being asked to be Team Europe Captain for the inaugural Collins Cup,” said Badmann. “The primary mission of the PTO is to celebrate the sport of triathlon and by bringing together today’s top triathletes in a battle to see which region dominates the sport of triathlon, will not only be a riveting competition, but will serve as a platform for professionals and fans alike to celebrate our sport.”
Collins Cup Captains Line Up
Badmann joins Normann Stadler to head Team Europe. Meanwhile, Craig Alexander and Erin Baker will no longer be able to make the trip from Australia and New Zealand respectively. That’s resulted in Team International having two captains instead of the original four with Lisa Bentley and Simon Whitfield taking the honours. For Team US, Karen Smyers and Mark Allen remain the legends to support the stars and stripes.
The captains will play a key role at the Collins Cup, which will see teams of European, USA and Internationals athletes go head-to-head in a bid to see which region rules the sport of triathlon. Each team will have 12 athletes – six men, six women – giving us 12 one-vs-one-vs-one match-up races between the teams over a 2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run.
With all that racing going on, the team captains will be in constant contact with their team’s racers thanks to an F1 pit-lane style communication system – doing whatever they can help lead their athletes to victory.