In 2016, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, will host the first ever Ironman World Championship held in the southern hemisphere. The 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be staged in Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, in September 2016.
The World Championship is the pinnacle event in the global Ironman 70.3 calendar and will further strengthen a strong triathlon event portfolio in Queensland. The announcement is the result of a partnership between the Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast Council and Ironman.
In May 2013, Ironman brand owner World Triathlon Corp (WTC) confirmed that, starting in 2014, the Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon will rotate globally among different regions on an annual basis. This year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship is set for Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, on 7 September 2014; and the 2015 event will be hosted in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria on 30 August 2015.
Down Under in 2016
The Sunshine Coast and Queensland region is regarded as one of the world’s leading triathlon centres, with the hosting of the annual Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, the iconic Mooloolaba and Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport 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 medallist Jan Frodeno, 2012 Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs and Ironman World Champion medallist Caroline Steffen, among others.
“We are delighted to bring the Ironman 70.3 World Championship to Australia,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of Ironman.
“Asia Pacific is a rapidly expanding region for our sport, particularly the Sunshine Coast and Queensland, both [of which are] hugely popular strongholds for the Ironman brand.”
Messick added “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.”
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. “The Queensland Government’s 20-year plan for tourism, Destination Success, outlines the importance of delivering events such as this which drive visitation to Queensland’s destinations,” said Ms Stuckey.
She added, “The Sunshine Coast provides an ideal backdrop to deliver a memorable event for visiting competitors with athletes likely to ‘Make the Most of the Moment’ and stay on after the championship to experience the region’s tourism offerings.
“As we look toward the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, of which triathlon is a core sport, it is events such as this that further demonstrate Queensland’s ability to host spectacular international sporting events.”
The IM 70.3 World Championship event expects to attract 3,000 athletes from over 70 global qualifying events in locations such as Australia, Japan, Spain, England, 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.”