Triathlon organisation Ironman will host its first world championship in the southern hemisphere, with the Sunshine Coast area of Australian state Queensland awarded the rights for the 2016 event.
The Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be staged in the resort of Mooloolaba in September, 2016 following a partnership between the Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast Council and Ironman.
The Sunshine Coast and Queensland region is regarded as one of the world’s leading triathlon centres through the hosting of the annual Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, the Mooloolaba and Noosa Triathlon Festivals and prior hosting of International Triathlon Union (ITU) series and championship events.
Andrew Messick, chief executive of Ironman, said: “Asia Pacific is a rapidly expanding region for our sport, particularly the Sunshine Coast and Queensland, both hugely popular strongholds for the Ironman brand. The region has a significant history in the sport of triathlon and is a popular destination that we know will deliver a world-class event while providing genuine warmth of hospitality.”
Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey added: “The Queensland Government’s 20-year plan for tourism, Destination Success, outlines the importance of delivering events such as this which drive visitation to Queensland’s destinations. As we look toward the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, of which triathlon is a core sport, it is events such as this that further demonstrate Queensland’s ability to host spectacular international sporting events.”
The Ironman 70.3 World Championship expects to attract 3,000 athletes from over 70 global qualifying events in locations such as Australia, Japan, Spain, South Africa and the Americas. The championship is part of a week-long festival which will include the 70.3 Sunshine Coast race and a range of lifestyle events.
This year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship is set for Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada on September 7. The 2015 event will be hosted in Zell am See-Kaprun in SalzburgerLand, Austria.