Diego was born on November 1th, 90's in Mechelen. As a child of divorced parents, he grew up largely with his grandparents, who were sheep farmers in Hombeek (Mechelen).
He has been playing football since he was 5 years old. Around the age of 15 he was noticed and he was allowed to test at Racing Mechelen. However, during this period he was more on the bench with the national U16-U18 than he was on the field. Consequently, this was no longer active enough for a boy with an excess of energy.
At the age of 17, Diego switched to athletics. His talent for long distance running was noticed there.
Due to compartment syndrome, he stopped athletics a year later and switched to cycling at the age of 19.
He decided to take a license with the Flemish Cycling Federation.
It soon became apparent that Diego was at his best on long climbs or long distances at high power.
Tests showed that he had a great ability for extreme long-Endurance sports. However, in Belgium there are simply no mountains.
After 5 years riding in the peloton on a flat course, he joined a French cycling formation Bourg En Bresse Cyclisme.
As winter preparation for the 2015 season, Diego participated in a 10 km running race. Without any form of running training, he set a time of 32 min 25 sec. 2 weeks later he was at the start of the Christmas Corrida in Deerlijk with 15km at 48min 50 sec. or an average of 3 min 09 sec./km.
It became clear that he had to do something with this.
In mid-2015 he said goodbye to cycling and decided, also on the advice of his sports doctor, to make the switch to duathlon. During that period, despite a fracture of the ischium and 2 operations for compartment syndrome, he managed to achieve 2 major victories.
During the comeback he finished 9th without too much training at the ITU Duathlon Long Distance World Championship In Zofingen. In the winter preparation Diego was again felled by bad luck.
He was out for 2 months because of the cytomegalovirus.
In 2016 he decided to also try it in the triathlon scene; This with a view to a professional career. That year he signed up for the Ironman Lanzarote. Immediately a full distance debut. With very limited swim training, this was an immediate test in this new terrain.
This first experience, mainly aimed at learning, was immediately rewarded with a good 9th place overall. With the same cycling and running time as Jan Frodeno & Ivan Rana, he makes up for a lot of his lag in swimming.
Later that year he also started the Ironman Maastricht. With a 5th place overall and the fastest marathon time of 2h48, Diego had his first professional contract with 3MD – Veldeman. His first year as a professional was a missed start due to the lack of a solid Teamwork and a following burn out. This unfortunately led to the termination of the contract.
After all of this a team was set up to guide Diego in his sports career and a partnership was entered into with a top coach. Together they have put him back on track as an athlete. We are all very grateful to them.
All together, Diego was back in balance physically and mentally after 6 months, resulting in:
A beautiful and convincing 1st place overall on the Israman 70.3!
Meanwhile, Diego won the Embrunman Ironman on August 15, 2018, known worldwide as one of the most important and most difficult Full Distance Triathlon. He also broke James Cunnema 's marathon course record here . 2h44′ on this killer course! hats off & great prospects for the future.
In 2019, Diego continued to work on this impetus. The first victory is immediately in the 70.3 in Israel, followed by a Powerman WorldSeries Victory in Mallorca!
Diego has become a strong value in the absolute top of the world in Long Distance Triathlon. Just fine-tuning the swimming & he's everywhere for the win!
On September 8, 2019, Diego became the new ITU Long Distance World Champion in Zofingen, Switzerland. An absolute top performance after an already impressive season!
Corona made Diego his long-term goal in 2020/2021, TOP 5 overall at the World Ironman Hawaii World Cup not a possibility. Diego still became 3x winner of a famous professional competition in 2020.
In 2021 he literally looked death in the eyes; on 16 august he was hit by a truck while training in mallorca. The doctors result sounded hard : 3 double neck vertebra fracture / 4 broken vertebrae & 3 ribs broken / a collapsed lung. Diego was operated on August 25 of the neck & August 26 of the back.
A long rehabilitation is imminent.
Due to the heavy fall, Diego was fired from SportVlaanderen.
The goal remains the same as for 2021, but the support remains urgently needed.