The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced that Aquathlon has been included in the first ever edition of the World Beach Games, which will take place in San Diego (USA) from 10-14 October 2019. In tandem, ITU is also launching the Aquathlon Ranking for all the athletes competing in this discipline.
The inaugural edition of the ANOC World Beach Games will take place on Mission Beach, famously known as the birthplace of triathlon. It was in that same beach when, in 1974, the San Diego Track and Field club organised a race that started with a run, followed by swim, bike and run again. And, at the Beach Games 45 years later, during the Aquathlon athletes will start with a run, followed by a swim and final run.
“We are immensely proud to be part of an event since its inception as we will be on the World Beach Games,” said ITU President and IOC member, Marisol Casado. “To be able to have Aquathlon included in the inaugural edition of the Beach Games will indeed mean an incredible boost for one of our most recent disciplines, and it will mean a great increase in the number of athletes regularly competing on our events and enjoying the possibility of participating in great multisport events as those Games will be.”
A total of 60 athletes will participate in the Individual Aquathlon, 30 men and 30 women, and they will compete on a 5km run – 2k swim – 5k run. For the Mixed Relay event, each athlete will do a 1.25k run – 500m swim – 1.25k run, with teams formed with a man and a woman from the same country, and each athlete undertaking the distance twice.
To be eligible to participate in the ANOC World Beach Games San Diego 2019, all athletes must be on the ITU Aquathlon Ranking, with points to be collected at World Championships, Continental and National Championships.
The 24 highest ranked athletes, on the ITU Aquathlon Ranking as of 15 July 2019 will be allocated one quota place for their National Olympic Committee, respecting the maximum quota allocation of two athletes per country per event. The Host Country, USA, will have a guaranteed two places per gender and event as long as they comply with the eligibility criteria. The remaining four places per gender will be allocated via invitations.
All countries that have a minimum of one man and one woman participating are eligible for the Mixed Relay competition, and if a country has two male and two females qualified, they can enter two teams in the Mixed Relay event.
The ANOC World Beach Games will aim to deliver ‘elite sport that excites’: featuring a dynamic beach, and a water sports programme featuring prominent, world-class athletes brought together in one global festival for the first time. The event will be built on a new, sustainable multisport model, with ‘100% temporary venues operating in harmony with the world’s most captivating beach locations’.
The inaugural World Beach Games San Diego 2019 will take place at a single, integrated competition site at Mission Beach – located approximately 14km from downtown San Diego, on Southern California’s Pacific coast. All competition venues will be temporary, with no permanent Games footprint. National organising committees (NOCs) and their teams will be housed in hotel accommodation approximately 8.5km from the competition site.
The Games is expected to attract approximately 40,000 fans each day, with world-class sports competition staged alongside an international music, culture and entertainment festival. The event will also be broadcast live around the world via digital and traditional broadcast channels. Participants will be able to enjoy the attractions that make San Diego one of the world’s top tourist destinations, from the natural beauty of the Southern California coastline to renowned destinations such as Sea World, the Gas Lamp District and San Diego Zoo.
The ANOC World Beach Games San Diego 2019 will feature approximately 1,360 athletes from every Olympic continent. The sports programme comprises 15 sports with 17 disciplines in total: Aquathlon, Basketball – 3X3, BMX, Bouldering, Beach Handball, Karate Individual Kata, Kitefoil Racing, Skateboarding – Park, Beach Soccer, Shortboard & Longboard, Open Water 5km, Beach Tennis, Beach Volleyball – 4×4, Waterski Jump & Wakeboard and Beach Wrestling.