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ITU takes Multisport World Championships to Townsville

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has awarded its 2021 Multisport World Championships to Townsville, with the fledgling competition set to represent the biggest sporting event to be ever held in the Australian city.

The fifth edition of the Championships will once again offer five world titles in duathlon, cross triathlon, aquathlon, aquabike and long-distance triathlon.

Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the Championships were secured through a partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland, Townsville City Council, Ironman, Triathlon Australia and Townsville Enterprise, with local organisers estimating it will inject AUD$16m (€10m/$11.4m) into the local economy.

“Securing this event also means we’ve reached our target of securing AUD$60m worth of events from SportAccord 2018 – a key legacy of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Jones said. “That momentum will continue when the world’s premier sporting conference comes to Queensland in just over six weeks’ time.

“When it comes to major events, the Palaszczuk Government has the runs on the board. We’ve more than doubled Queensland’s major events calendar – this year tipped to pump AUD$800m into the state’s economy.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said National Championship events would be included within the 2020 Townsville Triathlon Festival program. Stewart said the event would expand from one to two weekends before the world’s best athletes arrived in August 2021.

Stewart added: “Tourism is a cornerstone of our economy in North Queensland. Over the last five years we’ve grown the local tourism industry by more than Aus$70m and created an extra 100 tourism jobs in Townsville. We’re committed to growing Townsville’s tourism sector. That’s why we’re investing in events like the world championships that will generate millions for local businesses.”

The first ITU Multisport World Championships were held in Penticton, Canada in 2017 to consolidate several world championship events including duathlon, aqua bike, cross triathlon, aquathlon and long-distance triathlon disciplines.

The second edition of the festival took place last summer in Fyn, Denmark. The 2019 event will be held in Pontevedra, Spain in late April, and the 2020 event in the Dutch city of Almere.