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The International Triathlon Union announced today that Abu Dhabi will be the first race of the 2015 World Triathlon Series.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is pleased to announce that Abu Dhabi will debut on the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) calendar for the first race of a five-year partnership between the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and ITU. The United Arab Emirates capital city will kick off the WTS season on March 6–7. ”This is a partnership which represents a meeting of like minds in terms of ambitions,” said Marisol Casado, ITU President & IOC Member. “Abu Dhabi is a world-class city and offers a fantastic combination of beautiful water and superb road infrastructure that is entirely suitable for a WTS event.
“In our talks leading up to the partnership it became apparent that Abu Dhabi wants to take its triathlon to the next level and expand the sport’s reach in much the same way as ITU is determined to progress the sport internationally.”
While a first-time ITU race, Abu Dhabi has organized triathlons for age-group and professional triathletes the last several years. Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, who collected gold and bronze at the 2012 Olympics, respectively, are familiar with the race, with Alistair having won in 2013, and the brothers having crossed over together last year.
The event, slated as a sprint for the elites with both standard and sprint races on offer for age-groupers, will be headquartered at the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club where a spectator-friendly environment including a 2,000-seater grandstand, a bike park, a “friends and family” area, refreshment kiosks and a kids zone will be built. It will also feature a swim start off the Volvo Ocean Race yacht pontoons on Abu Dhabi Corniche—a first for the World Triathlon Series. ITU also confirmed that the dates for the World Triathlon London are officially set for May 30–31 and will again offer a sprint-distance course. The Hamburg and Edmonton stops on the Series will also feature the fast and furious sprint races.
Abu Dhabi is the only new stop on the 2015 calendar, while Gold Coast returns for the first time since 2009 for a Series that will feature a total of 10 cities.
“The World Triathlon Series represents the ‘best of the best’—like Abu Dhabi—with the sports elite competing in a 10-city circuit, all striving to become world champion and qualify for the Olympic Games,” said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, ADSC.
“We envisage a host of benefits emerging from this partnership. These include further positioning of Abu Dhabi as a destination for world-class sporting events, additional destination exposure among an influential client base, encouragement of our own youth to join in one of the world’s fastest-growing Olympic sports and the promotion among our own community of the benefits of healthy lifestyles.”
2015 World Triathlon Series complete calendar:
March 6–7: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
March 28–29: Auckland, New Zealand
April 11–12: Gold Coast, Australia
April 25–26: Cape Town, South Africa
May 16–17: Yokohama, Japan
May 30–31: London, Great Britain
July 18–19: Hamburg, Germany
August 22–23: Stockholm, Sweden
September 5–6: Edmonton, Canada
September 15-20: Chicago, USA