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The 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon will feature more than 1,500 participants from 58 countries.
See the press release below:
Abu Dhabi International Triathlon organizers say they are on-track to fill the 2,100 places earmarked for the March 3rd event – an increase of more than 30 percent over 2011.
This year’s event now has entrants from every inhabited continent and has seen strong growth from non-traditional triathlon markets and areas where the sport is still emerging such as Russia, up an outstanding 513%, Italy by 92% and Turkey by a staggering 560%.
The 2012 event, which has a revamped city course to meet demand, also sees first time entries from Argentina, Azerbaijan, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Iceland, India, Japan, Lebanon, Macao, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago and Zimbabwe.
The multicultural event continues to receive strong interest from the local market with a year-on-year increase of 20% in GCC participation to date. The Arab peninsula is currently represented by 815 athletes from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Internationally the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Denmark are leading the registration polls.
The consistent growth from the debut event in 2010, when 868 athletes took part, is testament to the loyal international triathlon community and the hunger for first-class destination experiences, said Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), which is behind the event.
“Locally and regionally we continue to see strong yearly interest in the event, which is a solid indicator of Abu Dhabi’s growing role as a preferred winter training base for triathletes, as well as the increase of grass roots clubs and groups dedicated to the sport. Encouragingly, the international appeal of the event continues to rise, as positive word of mouth spreads, which gives us an excellent platform to further demonstrate the emirate’s burgeoning performance athletics credentials,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Events Manager, ADTA.
Building on the success of last year’s event – which boasted 61 of the world’s best triathletes with 24 global titles between them – ADTA is recruiting a professional field to rival any major competition on the international circuit, with details soon to be announced. Pro-minded age-group athletes again have the chance to race alongside the sport’s elite, testing their stamina, strength and endurance in the iconic US$250,000 race.
“This is really the only professional sport globally where amateurs can compete with the elite, shoulder-to-shoulder. Being able to do this not only increases knowledge transfer between everyone, but also serves as a strong motivator to inspire youngsters looking to get into sport and adopt a healthier lifestyle,” added Al Sheikh.
For 2012, the race offers a selection of distances to accommodate athletes of all abilities. The 223km ‘long course’ boasts a 3km swim, a 200km cycle and 20km closing run – the same distance the world class elite will battle it out on. Ambitious newcomers can choose to tackle the ‘short’ course, at half the length, with a 1.5km swim, a 100km cycle and a 10 km run.
For those wanting to set the pace, the sprint course offers a 750m swim, a 50km bike and 5km run. Both the short and sprint distance also offer the option of a relay entry, encouraging like-minded friends, families and colleagues to take up the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon challenge.
The unique course offers the sport’s most picturesque setting; starting in a clear blue lagoon, biking on the famous Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and then ending on the sweeping shores of the Corniche.
For inbound visitors and competitors, the event hotel, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, is offering facilities such as large heated swimming pools, direct beach access, fully equipped gym, bike storage and a daily hotel menu designed with both the athlete and their friends and families in mind. Triathletes interested in a new experience are invited to join the start line in 2012 and be welcomed by the first class Abu Dhabi hospitality.