The world’s top triathletes gathered in Sydney today to launch the 2010 season and celebrate a ground-breaking new partnership which will benefit disadvantaged young people around the world.
Triathlon returns to the site of the sport’s first Olympic Games this Sunday for the kick off of the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Sydney’s world famous harbour. With the impressive backdrop of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the city skyline, Australia’s largest city is the ideal venue to launch the 2010 season.
The Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series was introduced in 2009, creating a series of world championship races rather than a single-day world championship. There will be seven stops throughout the 2010 season, showcasing the world-class cities of Sydney, Seoul, Madrid, Hamburg, London, Kitzbühel and Budapest, which will host the Series Grand Final.
Each race will be broadcast live with programming aired worldwide in more than 100 countries on five different continents. A total of $2.85 million (USD) will be available for athletes racing the World Championship and World Cup Series. A total of $150,000 (USD) will be up for grabs at this weekend’s event.
Many of the best triathletes in the world have come to Sydney to begin the quest to be crowned the 2010 world champion. Headlining the women’s field is reigning ITU World Champion Emma Moffatt of Australia, who is competing despite breaking her shoulder in a bike training accident less than two months ago.
Two Olympic champions are on the start list for the men’s race: Canada’s Simon Whitfield, the 2000 Sydney Olympic Triathlon winner, and Germany’s Jan Frodeno, who took gold at the Beijing Games in 2008.
“I’m relishing the opportunity to race on the streets of Sydney again which have such fond memories for me, and I’m eager to get my world championship campaign off to a winning start this year,” said Simon Whitfield.
Also present at the launch was ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado who said:
“On behalf of the entire triathlon family, I’d like to say that we are thrilled to return to Sydney. On September 16, 2000, I saw hundreds of thousands of passionate fans line the streets of Sydney to witness triathlon’s debut in the Olympic Games. Spurred on by the encouragement of the spectators, our top athletes showcased the true essence of triathlon – passion, intensity and charisma – attributes that continue to add to the sports growing popularity.”
Adding even more excitement to the Sydney event was the announcement of a new partnership between the International Triathlon Union and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the charitable arm of the charitable arm of the Laureus World Sports Academy. For at least the next two seasons, Laureus will be the official Global Charity Partner of ITU. Funds raised will go to projects bringing sport to hundreds of thousands of young people around the world.
The formal announcement was made at the launch of the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series, which was also attended by Marisol Casado, ITU President and International Olympic Committee member, Honorable Kevin Green, MP, Gaming and Racing, Sport and Recreation, Canada’s Simon Whitfield, and 2008 Olympic Champions Emma Snowsill of Australia and Germany’s Jan Frodeno. Whitfield won gold at triathlons debut appearance as an Olympic sport at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Beachley, a seven-time surfing world champion and member of the Laureus Friends & Ambassadors programme, said:
“Triathlon is such a challenging sport and it’s becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Sydney will be playing host to the world’s fastest growing outdoor sport, claiming the most spectatcular backdrop with the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, framing our beautiful Sydney Harbour and the hundreds of athletes that will be lining up to compete for crucial world title points.”
Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses said: “I am delighted that the International Triathlon Union has chosen Laureus to be their charity partner. Triathlon is a booming sport attracting more and more people to take part. It’s a terrific elite sport building a solid base of healthy role models to inspire newcomers of all standards,. I know this is going to be a great partnership and I would like to thank the ITU for teaming up with Laureus.”