Abu Dhabi will host the World Triathlon Championship Finals in November for the first time, joining a list of elite cities including London, Budapest, Beijing, Chicago and Lausanne to stage the prestigious event.
The finale of the World Series will take place across the waterways, tracks and roads of the UAE’s premium sporting destination – Yas Island – from November 23 to 26.
It is also the first time the climax of the global series will be hosted in the Mena region.
The event is set to draw more than 7,500 local, regional and international triathletes who will compete across categories including elite men and women; elite U23 men and women; elite para men and women, plus age group and community races.
“We are delighted to announce Abu Dhabi will host the World Triathlon Championship Finals and this reflects our vision and ambitious plans to be the leading destination for major global and international sporting events,” Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said at the launch ceremony on Wednesday.
“We are proud of the great trust given to Abu Dhabi by international sporting federations, and we value the fruitful partnership with World Triathlon, which has resulted in many important achievements and milestones for triathlon sport in the UAE."
Abu Dhabi’s journey to hosting the world championship started in 2010 with the first four years of the event held on the Corniche.
In 2014, Abu Dhabi staged the season-opening World Triathlon Championship Series and only WTCS event in the region, which has now paved the way to hosting the season's finale.
Marisol Casado, president of the World Triathlon and IOC Board Member, said: “For all the triathlon family it is a pleasure to return to Abu Dhabi, this time for the crown jewel of our events: The Championship Finals.
“The commitment and support that Aref, the whole team of Abu Dhabi and the local organisers have always shown to our sport is outstanding, and has brought the sport of triathlon to the Mena region in the most incredible way.
“It is amazing to witness first-hand how the Abu Dhabi event has grown from a small community race to the top level of our events.
“The best athletes of the world have always delivered incredible races here, and I am positive that in November we will crown here in Abu Dhabi the best triathletes of the new generation."
In addition to hosting the pinnacle of world triathlon for the first time, Team UAE will go head-to-head against the world’s best amateur triathletes.
The UAE Triathlon Federation announced that a team of athletes will be selected to represent the country in age group races around the world, starting with the World Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The team will be selected from a mix of UAE National and UAE-resident members of the UAE Triathlon Federation, with the selection criteria due to be announced soon.
“We look forward to opening qualification for athletes wishing to represent Team UAE at triathlon races around the world, starting with the World Championships in November,” Khaled Al Fahim, president of the UAE Triathlon Federation, said.
“Watching Team UAE athletes lining up on the start line will be a proud moment – the culmination of many years of hard work building the triathlon community in the country.
“I encourage all those who would like to take part to check out the qualification criteria which will be announced soon. November’s World Triathlon Championship Finals is an incredible opportunity for Emirati and UAE-resident triathletes, and aspiring triathletes, to race at a World Championship event on home soil.”