The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi opens its doors for entrants tomorrow, as organisers encourage athletes – from first-timers to seasoned competitors – to join the spectacle when it returns to Yas Island on 8th and 9th of March, 2019.
The event, which is the season-opener of the ITU’s global World Triathlon Series, has seen impressive growth in participation since its inauguration in 2015 - from 1,600 to 2,500 amateur participants - a 56 per cent increase. This makes it the biggest triathlon in the Middle East. Furthermore, with dedicated slots for Special Olympic and Para athletes, it is also the most inclusive triathlon in the Middle East.
The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will feature three categories: Elites, Age groupers and Junior races. The Age Grouper races allow amateur triathletes to compete as individuals or as part of a team, across a variety of distances:
- Super Sprint (375m swim, 10km cycle, 2.5km run)
- Sprint (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run)
- Olympic (1,500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) distances.
The community can also make the weekend a family affair, with the return of the junior races – a fun event aimed at encouraging youngsters to get active - which feature various races for children aged 5 years and up.
- Mini 1km: 1km run for 5 – 8 years
- Kids Duathlon: 500m run, 4km cycle, 500m run for 7 – 11 years
- Junior Duathlon: 1km run, 7km cycle, 500m run for 12 – 15 years
- Junior Triathlon: 120 swim, 4km cycle, 1km run for 9 – 11 years
- Junior Triathlon Super Sprint: 400m swim, 10km cycle, 2.5km run for 12 – 15 years
- Schools Sprint: 750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run
The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi allows these athletes a rare experience, as they get to race on the same weekend and the same course as the world’s greatest triathletes who take part in the Elite division. All set to the backdrop of Yas Marina Circuit and the impressive Yas Island, spectators on the day will get the chance to witness world-class athletes who dominate the sport.
Speaking about the entries now being open and the health of triathlon in the UAE, Khaled Al Fahim, Chairman of the UAE Triathlon Association, said: “It’s great to hear that the first entries for the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi edition are being accepted as registration is now open,” explained Al Fahim. “And with over 2,500 triathletes from all over the world expected to descend on the capital, we feel encouraged that this two-day triathlon festival will inspire more and more each year to participate in the sport of triathlon.”
“It’s encouraging to see that the participation numbers here in the UAE are reflecting the global growth of triathlon, and it just goes to highlight how inclusive triathlon is to all ages, fitness levels, gender and background.”
Earlier this year, the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi welcomed athletes from age 5 - 72 years old, representing 92 nationalities and members of 191 clubs – proof of how truly international, inclusive and gender equal the sport is. And what’s more, the reach isn’t on just a local scale. The event has global influence, with people travelling to Abu Dhabi from over 50 countries to take part, and over 2.5 million people watching the race on TV/online from all over the world, showcasing the capital’s ability to host world class sporting events.
Marisol Casado, President of the ITU and International Olympic Committee Board Member, added: “I’d like to thank Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the UAE Triathlon Association for their continued support – we are delighted that our season-opener will once again sit at the heart of the UAE’s sporting calendar alongside the likes of the Formula 1TM Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and many other world-class events. Over the last 4 years we have built a solid partnership with this iconic and committed sporting destination, which is why Abu Dhabi was natural choice to host the 2022 Grand Final. Until then, we hope triathletes from the UAE and further afield will continue to race, watch and cheer at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi this coming March!”
For those interested in entering, or for more information, visit: www.abudhabi.triathlon.org