Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) is again supporting the event as the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi host partner. ADSC’s General Secretary, His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani said: "We are privileged to be the only Middle East city to host the World Triathlon Series. This is an event which ticks all the right boxes for us – proving our capability as a world-class sporting venue, bringing the elite here to inspire our residents, and delivering an event which can engage the wider Abu Dhabi, UAE and regional community.”
The World Triathlon Series' dramatic wrap up in Mexico last month culminated in the legendary Spaniard and two-time Abu Dhabi Champion, Mario Mola, taking home his first World Series title. Mola was followed by GB's Jonathan Brownlee who also competed in the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi in 2015.
The past two years has seen the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi host the sport's biggest stars, including four out of the six Rio medallists – 2015 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi Champion, Gwen Jorgensen (USA); Nicola Spirig-Hug (Switzerland), Jonathan Brownlee (Great Britain) and Henri Schoeman (South Africa).
"We watched them race in Rio and now triathlon’s top elite stars will be back in the emirate to vie for one of the world’s most exciting and sought-after triathlon titles. Together with triathlon's greatest athletes we hope to develop a legacy that inspires UAE's future stars of the sport," added Al Awani.
For the first time on Yas Island a pinnacle world triathlon event will take participants around the whole island giving them the experience of a lifetime as they enjoy breath-taking views of magnificent landmarks, including the prestigious Yas Marina Circuit F1 track, whilst making their way to the finish line.
“We are delighted to be the host destination of the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2017 and to welcome the world’s top triathletes who will be kicking off their season right here in Yas Island. Over the past few years the Island has hosted a variety of top-level sporting events, attracting both elite athletes and sporting enthusiasts, who are drawn to the unparalleled closed-circuit environment making the island a prime destination for large-scale sporting events. The event will see participants and spectators experience unique routes and hospitality respectively through the Island’s key attractions and parks, bringing to life the outstanding entertainment and visitor experiences on offer," said Mohammed Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, the island’s destination management company.
"With the announcement of this iconic event, Yas Island aims to continue encouraging the Abu Dhabi and wider UAE community to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. There will be activities for all age-groups and fitness-levels to get involved in over the weekend of 3 and 4 March," added Al Zaabi.
For the first time, organisers have launched a limited number of early bird entries for the two-day triathlon available on www.AbuDhabi.Triathlon.org until spots sell out or by the 3 November deadline. Starting from just AED 405, race spots are expected to be snapped up quickly by keen triathletes and first timers alike.
"Following a hugely successful sold out event in March 2016 where we saw 2,200 elites and triathletes come together to participate in the region's most prestigious triathlon, we decided to open entries even earlier for the 2017 event," said Gary Marescia, Event Director of the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi. "For 2017 we've expanded the event to two days – this coupled with our iconic new venue means we have the capacity to welcome over 3,000 amateur athletes across Sprint, Olympic and Maxi distances and our junior triathlons, so I encourage everyone to plan early and give themselves plenty of time to train and prepare for this extraordinary event as the weather cools over winter."
The ITU World Triathlon Series made its debut in Abu Dhabi in 2015 and the third edition of the season opener is set to be even bigger and better with a variety of course options to suit a range of abilities. The race features the following course options: Sprint (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run),
which is the perfect starting point for beginners, Olympic (1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) and Maxi (1500m swim, 80km cycle, 20km run). All course options can also be completed as a team relay allowing each participant to complete the discipline they are most comfortable with. The relay format makes the triathlon very manageable for first-timers, giving them a great introduction to the sport and the chance to enjoy participating with family and friends.
The 2017 event also sees the return of the Junior Triathlon - a fun event aimed at encouraging youngsters to get active. There are four entry categories for the 2017 edition, open for children aged 5 to 15 years, which include: the ‘Mini 1km’ – a 1km run for 5 – 8 year olds; the ‘Kids Duathlon’ – a 3km cycle and a 500m run for 7 – 9 year olds and 10 – 11 year olds; the ‘Junior Duathlon’ – a 6km cycle and 1 km run for 12 – 13 year olds, and a 6km cycle and a 1.5 km run for 14 – 15 year olds; the ‘Junior Triathlon Super Sprint’ which consists of a 400m swim, 10km cycle and a 2.5km run for 12 – 13 years and 14 – 15 years. Early bird prices start at AED 54 with limited spots up for grabs until 3 November.
"The two-day triathlon event is not only aimed at elites and serious triathletes - it is a family-friendly affair that has something to offer to all members of the family including little ones and aspiring youngsters. Let World Champions and Olympic medallists inspire your children; sign them up for a fun challenge today and take advantage of the early bird prices," commented Marescia.
Online registrations for the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi are now
open to the public via the race website, www.AbuDhabi.Triathlon.org.