The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has confirmed that the ITU World Triathlon Series will return to the city of Leeds for a third successive year on 9-10 June 2018. Leeds joins Bermuda, Abu Dhabi, Yokohama and the Grand Final on the Gold Coast as host locations confirmed for next year’s 2018 ITU World Triathlon Series.
Last month, in excess of 70,000 spectators cheered on the world’s best triathletes in Leeds, including local heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee who celebrated a second successive one-two finish in Millennium Square as the city received a ‘true triathlon takeover’.
Marisol Casado, ITU president and IOC member, said “We are delighted to come back to Leeds, home of the Brownlee brothers, for the third year. It is always amazing to see the support of the people of Leeds to this event, the thousands of spectators cheering on the streets, and the city showcasing its best all over the world. And it will again be superb to have the greatest triathletes in the world competing here, along with thousands of amateur triathletes.”
Alistair Brownlee, Olympic Champion and two-time winner of the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds said “The Leeds leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series has been the standout race in the series for the past two seasons and to be able to look forward to a third year in a row and go for a hat-trick of wins is really exciting. It’s very special to be able to race in my home city; and to win in front of so many fans is incredible.”
For Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Triathlon, “Last month was a fantastic advertisement for the sport of triathlon and I hope the millions who watched have been inspired to get involved in our sport. To have confirmation of the 2018 event, shows the level of success of the Leeds leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series and the team can’t wait to deliver another outstanding triathlon experience for everyone next year.”
The elite races in Leeds were broadcast live on the BBC with over 2 million people tuning in to watch the Brownlee brothers deliver a dominant performance in their home city. In the women’s race, ITU World Champion, Flora Duffy of Bermuda won the title, receiving a huge roar from the knowledgeable crowd as she crossed the finish line on the blue carpet.
The elite stars of triathlon were joined by almost 3,000 amateur triathletes who took part in beginner and mass participation events across the weekend. Entries for the 2018 mass participation races will be open shortly; and with 91% of participant’s reportedly saying they would be taking part in the next staging of the ITU World Triathlon Leeds, organisers are urging triathletes and fans inspired by this year’s event to register their interest for 2018 at leeds.triathlon.org/2018.
The 2018 event will once again be supported by the National Lottery and organised by British Triathlon, in partnership with Leeds City Council, UK Sport and the ITU. The organisers will be looking to build on the high quality experience delivered for this year’s participants, fans and volunteers as the event aims to inspire even greater participation in the sport of triathlon.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake, said “We are extremely proud and excited that Leeds will have the opportunity to host its third ITU World Triathlon Series event in 2018. The atmosphere generated by the large crowds in attendance at the 2017 Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds events was simply unbelievable and some of the best that the sport has ever seen.
“Next year’s occasion promises to be just as spectacular and we look forward to welcoming once again both athletes and spectators to the city where they can be guaranteed another huge Yorkshire welcome.”
UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl added, “We are delighted the ITU World Triathlon Series is returning to Leeds for a third successive year. The city has staged two hugely successful editions of the event and it was fantastic to see over 70,000 spectators cheering on the streets of Leeds last month to create an amazing atmosphere for the world’s best triathletes. As we build toward Tokyo 2020, we are proud that the ITU World Triathlon Series in Leeds will be part of a package of international sporting events, backed by National Lottery funding, that we will stage in the UK over the coming years.”