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Ironman announced today that it will adjust the professional structure at two full-distance European events next summer—Ironman Kalmar Sweden (Aug. 20) and Ironman Copenhagen (Aug. 21). Only female professionals will compete at Kalmar, while only male professional males will compete in Copenhagen.
The announcement follows earlier news that several North American 70.3 and Ironman events will also test splitting the professional fields. In the U.S., Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman Wisconsin and Ironman 70.3 Augusta will feature female professionals, while Ironman Canada, Ironman Chattanooga and Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz will feature male professionals.
According to the press release, the changes are being made as an effort to provide two of Europe’s most popular Ironman races with professional fields that highlight our female and male athletes independently, in a year where scheduling has put these events on the same weekend. Total money for both events will remain the same at $50,000 USD.
“By having a split pro-field between Ironman Copenhagen and Ironman Kalmar we are providing the athletes in each event a unique race experience while also providing fans a great race to watch. Copenhagen is eager to welcome the best male professional athletes for the 2016 KMD Ironman Copenhagen,” said Thomas Veje Olsen, Managing Director of Ironman Denmark as part of the announcement.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the female pro field to shine in an unparalleled way. Ironman Kalmar will feature an extremely strong field. It will be the sporting highlight of Scandinavia next summer and we look forward to welcoming the female professional athletes on August 20,” added Christian Kirchberger, Managing Director of Ironman Sweden.