Following the success of the inaugural The Championship 2017, Challenge Family has announced that the x-bionic sphere facility in Samorin, Slovakia, will be the host venue for The Championship for the next three years.
CEO of Challenge Family, Zibi Szlufcik, said “Earlier this year, The Championship 2017 set a new standard in triathlon by announcing the best pro line-up in middle-distance history, resulting in a nail-biting race finish in both the men’s and women’s categories. The Championship 2017 was hailed as a massive success for athletes and spectators alike due to the superb facilities at the x-bionic sphere, so we felt it was the right decision to keep x-bionic sphere as the host venue.”
The Championship 2018, which will take place on 2-3 June 2018, will adopt the same racing rules, including the 20m drafting rule enforced on the bike leg. “We continue to listen to athletes’ requests and we recognised that maintaining a fair race for all is an absolutely integral part of Challenge Family and the new legacy of The Championship,” added Szlufcik.
The creator of the idea behind the x-bionic sphere sports resort, Mario Hoffmann, commented “We are absolutely thrilled to host The Championship in Samorin again. This year´s success created a new challenge for us – to make the event even better and once again exceed your expectations with our venue. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at x-bionic sphere next year, The Championship 2018 is an event you do not want to miss.”
To ensure that every triathlon enthusiast is able to get involved in the action, the event will again be live streamed on the official website. Live commentary throughout will keep the worldwide audience up to date with information as the race unfolds.
The female champion of The Championship 2017, Lucy Charles (GBR), said: “I’m having a great year and winning the first ever Challenge Family The Championship is certainly a highlight of 2017, so far! From start to finish, the atmosphere at the x-bionic sphere was electric. The line-up of pros was off the scale and I am so excited that The Championship will be returning to Samorin next year.”
The course has been specifically designed so that the x-bionic sphere forms the backdrop of the start, transition and finishing stages of the race. The majority of the run course is inside the venue grounds across a variety of different terrain including grass, asphalt, sand and gravel creating an ‘unparalleled experience for both athletes as well as spectators’.
“Following my battle with Sebastian Kienle on the run, my experience at The Championship 2017 was unreal and unmatched,” said the male winner of The Championship 2017, Lionel Sanders. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; everything in the lead up and during The Championship 2017 – such as the 20m drafting rule – made it a good and fair race. Challenge Family and the x-bionic sphere made us all feel very welcome and I can’t wait to return next year for another head-to-head finish with Sebastian.”
Commenting on the announcement, CEO of x-bionic sphere, Richard Ungerhofer, said “We are absolutely delighted that Challenge Family has decided to return back to our x-bionic sphere. Throughout this year’s inaugural event, it was great to see athletes from all over the globe enjoy our world-class facilities at x-bionic sphere, and we look forward to the next three years.”
Featuring a 50m outdoor pool and a 25m indoor pool, quiet surrounding roads – and the adjacent Danube river, the x-bionic sphere offers extensive triathlon training facilities. The all-encompassing venue also has a three-floor gym, a four-track training oval and a separate 8-lane track and field athletic oval with IAAF certification.
On 2 June 2018, a portfolio of side events with a number of options for friends and families traveling with athletes will take place. The anticipated middle-distance pro and age-groupers race will commence on 3 June.