Worlds back on radar

Multisport Mecca - - News - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@apn.com.au

SET­TING the bench­mark at last year’s event, the Ironman 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship could re­turn to the Sun­shine Coast in 2020.

While the famed Ironman World Cham­pi­onship is an­chored in Hawaii, the half dis­tance ti­tle de­cider moves ev­ery year.

Last year it was held at Mooloolaba to rave re­views, and this week­end the ti­tles are in the United States at Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee.

The week­end’s 70.3 event did not re­quire qual­i­fi­ca­tion. World ti­tle events only take the lead­ing com­peti­tors from elite and age group cat­e­gories who gain en­try through ei­ther fin­ish­ing high enough in their seg­ment, or

gain­ing enough points over a se­ries of races.

That saw a mas­sive in­flux of in­ter­na­tional com­peti­tors to the re­gion, both pre and post event.

At a VIP event in Mooloolaba on Fri­day, Ironman head of part­ner­ships Jeff Gil­lies said he was con­fi­dent the Sun­shine Coast would again host the event given the suc­cess of 2016.

Next year’s 70.3 world cham­pi­onship will be staged at Port El­iz­a­beth, South Africa.

For 2019 it will head for Nice, France.

Jeff said the Sun­shine Coast had set the stan­dard for other world cham­pi­onships last year, and was hope­ful the ti­tle de­cider would re­turn to the Asia Pa­cific re­gion in 2020.

“Our ath­letes travel with our

brand. They travel with our sport and it’s a life­style for them,” Jeff said.

“The Sun­shine Coast holds a very spe­cial part of that life­style. Here we are com­ing into spring and get­ting ready for sum­mer... it’s the tra­di­tional kick-off for our sea­son.

“We (are) now rolling to events like the Noosa Triathlon cel­e­brat­ing its 35th year, which is just such an out­stand­ing achieve­ment, then we gear up for Mooloolaba and roll into the Gold Coast re­gion which is a big year with (ITU) worlds.

“What works for us is the at­tributes of the des­ti­na­tion. It’s also the com­mu­nity and the part­ners who are around here who have the vi­sion and the fore­sight to invest.”

PHOTO: GRANT ED­WARDS

Ac­tion from the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship at Mooloolaba.

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