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'Mr. Olympic' to race Powerman European Champs
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Wednesday 4th May 2016


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Eskild Ebbesen to race ETU Powerman European Long Distance Duathlon Championships on Sunday

Denmark's five-time medal winning "Mr. Olympic" to add star quality to Age-Group racing this weekend

With a base of British readers here on Tri247, I wouldn't hold it against you if the name of Denmark's Eskild Ebbesen isn't one that immediately springs to mind. However, Eskild is a true sporting legend - across any sport and all countries.

With a new location, the 2016 ETU Powerman European Long Distance Duathlon Championships takes place this weekend at Powerman Copenhagen in Denmark, the event in recent years having been based in Horst aan de Maas, The Netherlands. A look through the Age-Group start list sees the name of Eskild Ebbesen appear in the Male 40-44 category - and a very welcome addition he is too.

Ebbesen competed at five consecutive Olympic Games, winning medals at all of them - including three Gold - in the Lightweight coxless fours rowing. That is seriously impressive. Eskild is one of the few athletes to have been awarded the Thomas Keller Medal, the highest distinction in the sport of rowing, awarded to recognise an exceptional international rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship. For context, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent have also received that honour.

Eskild Ebbesen (DEN) - Olympic Games History: Rowing

Atlanta 1996 GOLD Lightweight coxless fours
Sydney 2000 BRONZE Lightweight coxless fours
Athens 2004 GOLD Lightweight coxless fours
Beijing 2008 GOLD Lightweight coxless fours
London 2012 BRONZE Lightweight coxless fours

Now retired from rowing, he's a very keen and fit multisport athlete and cyclist.

To get a true insight into just what a legend Eskild Ebbesen is to the people of Denmark, I asked arguably Denmark's most legendary triathlete, Rasmus Henning for his insight. Rasmus went to the Olympic Games twice himself in triathlon (7th in Athens, 8th in Beijing), was a European Champion (Short and Long distance), won multiple ITU World Cup events and was twice a winner of the big money HyVee Triathlon. After the Beijing Olympics he embarked on a long distance career which saw him win Challenge Roth, Abu Dhabi International and place fifth in Kona (with a broken hand!) among many other high profile wins.

He's also known (and trained) with Eskild for over 15 years, describing him as having "an ability to push himself more than anybody I know"....

"Eskild Ebbesen is being called "Mr. Olympic" in Denmark with five Olympic medals spreading over 16 years, three of which were Gold. He is incredibly well respected in athletic and business circles, as well as in the general public. One of very few household names from a relatively small sport in the country (which I would not consider myself one of).

"I have known him quite well for over 15 years and have had the opportunity to train a bit with him on road bike and MTB over the years, at which he has always been at least at my level. After retiring from rowing he has put a lot of energy into MTB and also tri and duathlon, yet his strength clearly lies on the bike, and not the swim and run. He is, however, a rare caliber athlete with an ability to push himself and suffer more than anybody I know, including myself. That surely comes to his benefit in the Powerman, although his deficit on the run will likely place him a fair bit from the top of the results at the end. In any case, it is a big asset to a race to have Eskild present, as he his drawing a lot of attention, and also spreads a lot of positive energy to his surroundings."

Will we see Eskild on an Age-Group podium in Copenhagen this weekend? I don't know the answer to that - but I do appreciate sporting greatness of any kind, and seeing athletes from various sports want to come and compete in 'our' sport, at whatever level, is a positive in my eyes.

Best wishes to you Eskild.


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