The International Triathlon Union (ITU) in November announced an addition to the 2014 World Triathlon Series calendar. For the first time ever, a World Triathlon Series event will be held on the continent of Africa with a race slated to be held at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa on April 26-27, 2014.
The World Triathlon Cape Town race will serve as the second stop on the eight-city tour, which kicks off in Auckland on April 5-6. Cape Town is one of only two cities to debut on the WTS calendar in 2014, with Chicago also hosting an event for the first time.
The world’s top triathletes have confirmed their participation in the Cape Town leg of the series. With eight of the top ten Elite men on the start list, spectators can expect a tight, action packed race. Local hero Richard Murray (ranked 5th) will take on Mario Mola (ESP), who narrowly beat him by 18 seconds in the World Cup season opener in Mooloolaba last month as well as fellow Spaniard Javier Gomez, number one on the WTS rankings. With 15 and 7 World Series wins under their respective belts, Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan are the most successful Elite athletes in the history of the series and will be looking to retain their position.
The Elite ladies race will certainly rival the men’s in terms of action. With to top three ladies on the WTS rankings, Jodie Stimpson (GBR), Non Stanford (GBR) and Anne Haug (GER) confirmed, the competition will be no less intense than the Elite men’s race. Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden (SWE) will also be making her ITU World Series comeback in Cape Town after the 2012 Olympics. Along with Helen Jenkins (GBR), she’ll be looking to regain her former ITU World Triathlon Series glory.
Says Richard Murray: “To compete in front of my home crowd in an ITU World Series event is already special. To know that I am going to be racing against the best athletes in the world is going to make for an unforgettable experience and epic race.”
“This event will give South Africans the opportunity to watch or take part in a pro-am event, which caters to both Elite and mass participation. It’s incredibly important in terms of growing the sport locally. Having Discovery as title sponsor and Virgin Active as a partner, both large companies with a focus on promoting healthy living, will also go a long way to raise the profile of triathlon amongst ordinary weekend warriors and the public.”
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to sponsor the ITU World Triathlon Series Cape Town event, which is the first event of its kind to be held in South Africa, and on the African continent,” says Gidon Novick, Discovery Vitality CEO.
“The triathlon is viewed as the ultimate healthy lifestyle sport, as it promotes a greater consciousness of healthy living and eating. Furthermore, the triathlon is the fastest growing Olympic sport which attracts new participants every year, and it is also a sport gaining traction in South Africa. The average active South African is able to easily run 5km, swim 500m and cycle 20km, and I believe this event will gain a strong following in South Africa.”
“Discovery is committed to helping people to understand their health risks, and to lead healthier, active lifestyles that has a positive impact on their health, wellbeing and overall quality of life,” says Novick. “Events such as the Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town event provide a fantastic platform for us to spread this message and educate more people about the importance of taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.”
“Health and wellness is a very important issue worldwide, especially in light of the rising burden of no communicable diseases the world is experiencing,” Novick adds. “Vitality encourages people to know their health, improve their health and enjoy the rewards as leading a healthier lifestyle and making healthier choices is important in the fight against no communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.”
Age groupers will have the option to choose between a standard Olympic distance courses or hone their speed skills on a sprint course. Standard and sprint distance team relays are also on the schedule, offering a race for all abilities. In addition to the competitions, athletes will be treated to a weekend full of festivities; including sundown concerts, a race exhibition, kids & family races. Register online today at capetown.triathlon.org.