Triathlon Ireland has said its officials did not sanction a swimming race in which two competitors died.
The men, in their 40s and 60s, got into difficulty in separate incidents during the swimming leg of the Ironman event in Youghal, Co Cork on Sunday.
Triathlon Ireland chief executive Darren Coombes said officials did not sanction the swim race due to “adverse conditions on the day”.
Image: Competitors in the Ironman competition in Cork. Pic: Tri Coach Bjorn He said: “For the Ironman Cork event, in line with normal practice, Triathlon Ireland technical officials attended before the start of the race to review the conditions and carry out a water safety assessment.
“Due to adverse conditions on the day, Triathlon Ireland technical officials confirmed to the race organisers that it was not possible to sanction the race.
“As there is an investigation ongoing, at this stage it would not be appropriate for us to make any further comment only to state that Triathlon Ireland will provide any assistance that the authorities require.”
Mr Coombes also named the two men who died as Ivan Chittenden and Brendan Wall.
“We reiterate our deepest condolences to the families,” he added.
“The triathlon community is a very close community and this loss has had a devastating effect on all of us.”
The two men were removed from the water by emergency services after running into difficulties, but were pronounced dead at the scene.
Irish police said they were investigating and that the coroner had been notified.
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The event had been postponed from Saturday due to flooding and bad course conditions after Storm Betty.
It consisted of a 1.9km swim in Youghal Bay, a 90km bike course and a 21.1km run.
The swim had already been cut from 3.8km because of poor weather conditions.
The race continued and competitors were allowed to finish despite the double tragedy in the first section of the race.
In a statement, the event organisers said: “We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of two race participants at the Ironman 70.3 Ireland, Cork 2023.
“During the swim portion of Sunday’s race, safety personnel provided immediate medical attention upon recognising the athletes were in need of assistance.
“We share our greatest sympathies with the families and friends of the athletes and will continue to offer them our support as they go through this very difficult time.
Image: Youghal, Co Cork Pic: Google Street View “We thank the safety personnel and first responders who worked quickly to provide the athletes with medical assistance.
“In respect of the families and athletes’ privacy, we will have no further comment.”
Cork County Council said in a statement it is “deeply saddened over the tragic loss”.