Butterfield laid low by parasites
Tyler Butterfield has been forced to withdraw from Sunday's Pan American Ironman 70.3 Championships in Panama through illness.
Bermuda's top male triathlete was diagnosed with three parasites which he is believed to have picked up while competing at last November's Ironman Cozumel in Mexico, the athlete's fourth Ironman in less than six months.
“He has been on very strong antibiotics and, of course, hasn't been feeling great for a while,” Nikki Butterfield, Butterfield's wife, said.
Sunday's Pan American Ironman 70.3 Championships in Panama was supposed to be Butterfield's season opener. However, that will now have to wait as he recovers from his illness.
Last season the Colorado-based triathlete continued to come into his own with a superb win at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon and string of top ten showings at regional and world championship venues around the globe, including a best finish of fifth at last October's Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
Butterfield, who struck up a new sponsorship deal with running shoe brand this month, also set a personal best time of 2hr 48 min en route to clinching the bronze medal at last year's South American Ironman Championship in Brazil.
Butterfield's 2016 race schedule is again geared towards October's Ironman World Championships in Kona, where he has targeted a podium finish.
“First I wanted to scrape into the top ten, then the top five,” he said. “Now I've reached that goal and the next step would be top three, and then who knows.”
Speaking at the Bermuda Triathlon Association's awards banquet, Greg Welch, triathlon legend and former Ironman World Champion, tipped Butterfield for a potential podium finish at this year's World Championships.
“I think he's ready to aim at the top and he needs to believe in himself,” he said.