The International Triathlon Union (ITU) confirmed the locations of multiple World Championship events on Tuesday, after an ITU Executive Board meeting held in conjunction with the World Triathlon in Yokohama.
“We had a great amount of interest from cities in hosting an ITU event, and received some truly incredible bids for not only triathlon, but also for multisport races,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “Triathlon has a very bright future with so many spectacular sites secured to host races in the next several years.”
The 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final has been granted to the Gold Coast, which has hosted World Championship races in 1991 and 2009.
The host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games hosted the World Triathlon Series for the first time this year and is expected to welcome the Series again in 2016 and 2017, before both elite and age group athletes compete for World Championship titles in 2018.
“This is a fantastic result for Queensland and triathlon, we are very excited to be able to host the world’s best ITU age group and professional athletes here on the Gold Coast,” said IRONMAN Asia-Pacific CEO Geoff Meyer.
Leeds will now host the World Triathlon Series in 2016, taking the place of World Triathlon London. A cycling superhighway is being built throughout the Yorkshire city, with construction work to take place in Hyde Park in 2016.
“It’s fantastic news that Leeds’ bid has been successful,” said reigning Olympic champion and Leeds resident Alistair Brownlee.
“I am sure the crowds will come out in force to see a major triathlon event in Leeds for the first time, and I’m sure it will be a brilliant event.
Leeds serves as the training grounds for several of the UK’s top triathletes.
In addition to the World Triathlon Series announcements, the ITU Executive Board voted on several multisport championship events.
In 2017, Penticton, Canada will organize the first Multisport World Championships Festival, which will see duathlon, long distance triathlon, aquathlon and cross triathlon championship races organized together during a week-long festival.
This innovative format now allows for athletes to compete in various multisport races, as opposed to electing only one each season.
“We are extremely honoured to be chosen to host the 2017 Multisport World Championships,” said race director Michael Brown. “Penticton has a deep history in triathlon and we look to build on a strong foundation created by this great community. With the support of the city, the Mayor, his council and all of Penticton’s citizens I know we will create a 10-day festival that will live up to all the athletes expectations.”
The Executive Board awarded the 2018 Multisport Festival to Odense, Denmark.
Lake Crackenback, Australia has been announced as the site of the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships – the last year that will see each multisport World Championships organized as stand-alone events.
“This is fantastic news for the sport of triathlon in Australia,” said Anne Gripper, CEO of Triathlon Australia.
“To have the world’s best elite and age group athletes competing on the Gold Coast in 2018, as well as in the magnificent Snowy Mountains at Cross Triathlon World Championships in 2016, provides Australian triathletes of all ages with a great incentive to train and compete over the next three years as they strive to wear the green and gold on home soil.”
The ITU also confirmed that it will be suspending its membership of SportAccord, with the International Weightlifting Federation following suit to take the number of Olympic sport federations leaving SportAccord to ten.
ITU said it will shortly release the bidding conditions for the 2016 Triathlon World Cup events, the 2017 World Triathlon Series races, the 2019 World Triathlon Grand Final, and the 2019 Multisport Festival. The full 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series will also be announced soon.