The International Triathlon Union has confirmed that Triathlon New Zealand will host the 2012 Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Series Grand Final with the New Zealand bid chosen over others from Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
The Grand Final is the most prestigious event and highlight to the 8 race World Championship Season and will come to Auckland from 18-22 October 2012, bringing with it a host of international stars and thousands of international visitors.
Triathlon New Zealand CEO Dave Beeche says it's been a long hard road to get to this point, and while there's still plenty of work ahead he is delighted that the ITU has chosen New Zealand over other worthy bidders.
"This is recognition of our standing in the world of triathlon but also the many hours and resource put into planning to host such a prestigious and high profile global event. In endorsing our bid the ITU is entrusting New Zealand with the biggest triathlon event on the calendar outside the Olympics, this is both a huge honour and responsibility, but one we and our event partners look forward to.
"We have enjoyed fantastic support from the Auckland City Council and Major Events NZ. These two organisations led by Mayor John Banks and Minister Gerry Brownlee respectively have provided superb advice and resource in what is a significant international bid.
"Hosting this World Champs Series Grand Finale will be a huge boost for the profile of Auckland and New Zealand with an estimated global TV audience in excess of 13million and a forecast economic impact for NZ in excess of NZ$30million.
"But just as important is what this event will do for the sport and the profile here in New Zealand. This is like having the Olympics come to town for our sport; the very best in the world will race the likes of Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Andrea Hewitt and Debbie Tanner in our own backyard, past our own landmarks and in front of a parochial Kiwi crowd."
Indeed the Auckland waterfront triathlon will give everyday New Zealanders the chance to participate with the event doubling as the Age Group World Championships, bringing thousands of competitors from all around the world and giving Kiwis the chance to race for gold at home, something Beeche says may well inspire yet more into New Zealand's fastest growing sport.
"Participation and the accessibility of the sport for all Kiwis is at the heart of what we do at Tri NZ," says Beeche. "The chance to race for a World Champs medal at home is a rare one indeed and will see many begin planning to be a part of this great event in just over two years."
Auckland will host the four days of triathlon, with activity focused on the waterfront and CBD with transition, finish line and spectator viewing areas based on Queens Wharf. The elite athletes will take on a course that will include a tough climb to the top of the CBD on each of the 8 bike laps and a fast descent down Queen Street to the turnaround on Queens Wharf, making for superb watching live or on TV worldwide. As well as catering for the elite and competitive age group triathletes, the festival event will also host a corporate teams, kids and beginners events.
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