Queensland's Sunshine Coast will host the first IRONMAN World Championship held in the Southern Hemisphere. The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be staged in Mooloolaba, Australia in September, 2016.
The world championship is the pinnacle event in the global IRONMAN 70.3 calendar and will further strengthen an outstanding triathlon event portfolio in Queensland. The announcement is the result of a partnership between the Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast Council and IRONMAN.
The Sunshine Coast and Queensland region is regarded as one of the world's leading triathlon centers, with the hosting of the annual IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, the iconic Mooloolaba and Noosa Triathlon Festivals and prior hosting of International Triathlon Union (ITU) series and championship events.
The South East Queensland region plays home to current IRONMAN 70.3 world champion Melissa Hauschildt, IRONMAN 70.3 Asia Pacific champion and Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno, IRONMAN world champion Pete Jacobs and IRONMAN World Championship medalist Caroline Steffen, among others.
"We are delighted to bring the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to Australia," says Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. "Asia Pacific is a rapidly expanding region for our sport, particularly the Sunshine Coast and Queensland, both hugely popular strongholds for the IRONMAN brand."
"The region has a significant history in the sport of triathlon and is a popular destination that we know will deliver a world class event while providing genuine warmth of hospitality," Messick added.
Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship would attract the world's best endurance athletes from across the nation and overseas to the Sunshine Coast in 2016.
"This region is one of the most popular with Australian and international visitors alike, offering stunning beaches and weather; wildlife and natural wonder; and renowned Aussie culture, food and wine," said Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey.
"Here in Queensland, we have a culture and commitment to staging world class events, and we proudly look forward to hosting IRONMAN athletes and their supporters, friends and families from around the world to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship," added Stuckey.
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship expects to attract 3,000 athletes from over 70 global qualifying events in locations such as Australia, Japan, Spain, South Africa and the Americas.
The championship is part of a week-long festival which will include the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast race and a range of lifestyle events for the community and visitors to enjoy.
"We are excited to welcome triathletes from throughout our region and around the world for what we are confident will be a superb experience," said IRONMAN Asia Pacific CEO, Geoff Meyer. "The Sunshine Coast will be a magnificent setting - whether it is your goal to qualify for the world championship, or be a participant at the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast triathlon, it will be a race week triathletes won't want to miss."
This year's IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is set for Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada on September 7, 2014 and the 2015 event will be hosted in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria on August 30, 2015.
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