The already big prize purse for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon has added a $60, 000 prize purse for the short course race for the first time in the event’s history. As expected, that has further fuelled the field. This year’s race will see the Brownlee brothers face off for the $15, 000 first place prize. Alistair Brownlee won last year’s short course race and bets are sure to be made on whether he, or his 2012 World Champion brother Jonathan will win. Also in the mix are two-time French Olympian Tony Moulai and professional Egyptian triathlete and UAE crowd favourite Omar Nour.
The short course race features a unique distance of a 1.5 km swim, 100 km bike and 10 km run, which will make for some tactical moves. Commenting on the race, Moulai said, “This will be my first year racing at Abu Dhabi so I don’t really know what to expect. From what I have heard, the course is amazing but also one to respect given the heat and the unique, challenging 100km bike leg which will have a large part to play in crowning the winner. Given that this year’s elite short course includes some of the world’s most talented triathletes, it’s definitely going to be an exciting season opener.”
The women’s elite start list is similarly strong with Australian multi ITU medallist, Annabel Luxford, German Svenja Bazlen, ranked 4th in the world for the 70.3 discipline, five-time French champion and two time Olympian Jessica Harrison.
“I can’t wait to compete in Abu Dhabi, tackling one of the world’s most picturesque courses,” said Luxford. “Ahead of the race I’m heading out to the Emirates to train and acclimatize to the weather to ensure I’m in peak condition for the event. A podium finish would be a great way to start the new season!” she continued.
In addition to the short course, The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon has two other distances; the 223km “long course” (3 km swim, a 200 km bike and 20 km run) and the “sprint course” (750 m swim, a 50 km bike and 5 km run).
The increase in funds for the short course has meant a decrease for the long course in which the winner will take home $40, 000 instead of the $50, 000 they raced for last year.