The news isn't good for triathletes is Asia and those around the world that had plans to participate in the upcoming Ironman China and Ironman 70.3 China races in Jixian, Tianjin. The inaugural events set to take place in Jixian (they were moved from Haikou after 2010 running) on May 29th have now been cancelled.
On Monday, the World Triathlon Corporation made an announcement regarding the swim portion of the races for Ironman China and the Ironman 70.3 China. The swim had been cancelled and both events would be run as duathlons. Efforts were made to find another venue with short notice, but were unsuccessful.
Apparently the city of Jixian didn't get the word that a major event was taking place in the city and/or taking part in the reservoir. Officials began a major water works program that has forced the closure of the reservoir that was slated to host the swim.
The Ironman China event sold out even with race registration opening in January, five month before was set to take place.
This is the latest blow for Asian athletes trying to qualify for the 2011 Ironman World Championship race in Kona. They were also affected by Ironman Malaysia and Ironman Japan not being on the 2011 race schedule. The WTC has tried to resolve the issue for Asian triathletes by bringing back Ironman Korea this year, but you have to wonder how they feel with what's going on with all these race changes.
Official Statement from Ironman:
World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) announced today that the 2011 Ironman China and Ironman 70.3 China races, set to take place on May 29 in Jixian, Tianjin, have been cancelled. After the cancellation of the swim portion of the race earlier in the week and the resulting change to a bike-run format, WTC was informed that Tianjin Sports Bureau (TSB) could not obtain the required sanctions from the China Triathlon Sports Association (CTSA) to conduct the event.
"Events in China require an appropriate sports body to act as the co-organizer," said Murphy Reinschreiber, managing director of the Asia Pacific region for WTC. "While we have had nothing but positive experiences in working with China's sports authorities in the past, TSB simply failed to provide all of the documentation necessary for CTSA to process the sanction."
WTC is offering a full refund of entry fees to all athletes who were scheduled to compete at Ironman China and Ironman 70.3 China. Additionally, all athletes will be offered a complimentary race entry into any of the 2011 Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races listed below.
• Ironman 70.3 Switzerland
• Ironman 70.3 Boise
• Ironman 70.3 Italy
• Ironman 70.3 Kansas
• Ironman France
• Ironman 70.3 Korea Jeju
• Ironman Korea Jeju
• Ironman 70.3 Muncie
• Ironman Switzerland
• Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island
• Ironman 70.3 Racine
• Ironman Regensburg
• Ironman 70.3 Wiesbaden European Championship
• Ironman 70.3 Steelhead
• Ironman Louisville
"We were shocked by the news today that Ironman China and Ironman 70.3 China would need to be cancelled, especially since we were unaware that this might be the result when we decided to cancel the swim earlier this week," said Steve Meckfessel, chief operations officer for WTC. "We want all athletes who committed the time and training to participate in these events to still get their chance to compete later this season."
To ensure that Asia-Pacific athletes are represented at the 2011 World Championship events, WTC is allocating the age group qualifying slots from Ironman China and Ironman 70.3 China to other races in the region. Ironman Korea Jeju, scheduled for July 3, 2011, is receiving 25 Ford Ironman World Championship slots, giving it a total of 75, and Ironman 70.3 Korea Jeju is receiving 10 slots for the Ironman World Championship 70.3. Additionally, the 2011 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines, set to take place on August 14 in Camarines Sur, Philippines, will receive 30 slots for the Ford Ironman World Championship.
Athletes will receive their entry fee refund within three to four weeks and an e-mail on May 16, 2011 with information regarding race registration for one of the complimentary events. In the coming days, athletes will also receive information on cancelled hotel and travel arrangements. In the meantime, all questions may be directed to email@example.com.
- Ironman Returns to Jeju with Dual Events in 2011
- Ironman Japan Replaced by Goto Nagasaki International Triathlon
- Entries Opening Up for Ironman China & 70.3 Race
- Double Move for Ironman China, New Date & Venue