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Ironman kicks off its new “championship series” coverage this weekend with the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships in Melbourne, Australia. The coverage will include a broadcast from the Ironman Live team, which will focus largely on the professional race, as well as live GPS tracking for all professionals. Pros were also given the opportunity to opt-in to transmit biometric and power data to the broadcast.
“We are proud of the advancements made in creating a true ‘Road to Kona,’” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman, in a press release. “The added technology components, live show and strong pro fields will further grow the sport and provide for an exciting season throughout the regions.”
How And When To Watch
The race is set for Sunday morning in Australia, which is Saturday afternoon in the United States. The pro men kick off the action at 7:20 a.m. local time, with the women following at 7:23 a.m.
This translates to 1:20 p.m. PDT/4:20 p.m. EDT on Saturday afternoon. Tune in at Ironman.com.
What To Watch For
Both professional winners of the event will be given an automatic bid to the 2015 Ironman World Championship in Kona. Additionally, there’s a prize purse of $150,000 that will go 10 deep for the men and women. As a championship-level event, this race also offers the most Kona Pro Ranking (KPR) points available outside of the Ironman World Championship itself.
The women’s race has the potential to be a classic, with three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae, two-time Ironman Melbourne winner Caroline Steffen and two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion Melissa Hauschildt all making the start.
Tim Van Berkel (AUS), Nils Frommhold (GER) and Luke Bell (AUS) highlight the men’s start list. Read the pro preview here.
Future Championship Events
This Melbourne race is the first of five Ironman events that will be included in the championship series coverage. Other events include:
– Standard Bank Ironman African Championship – South Africa; March 29, 2015
– Memorial Hermann Ironman North American Championship – Texas; May 16, 2015
– Ironman Latin American Championship – Brazil; May 31, 2015
– Ironman European Championship – Frankfurt; July 5, 2015