During a World Triathlon Board meeting held this Thursday, the Executive Board approved the postponement of the Multisport World Championships, due to be hosted in Almere (The Netherlands) from September 4 to September 13, 2020. The event will now take place in 2021, with dates to be confirmed at a later stage. The Multisport World Championships in Townsville (Australia) will subsequently move to 2022, while Ibiza (Spain) will now host the event in 2023.
World Triathlon wants to thank the three organizing committees and their respective National Federations and local governments for their flexibility and willingness to accommodate the new dates, in order to minimize the impact that the current pandemic will have in the short and medium-term.
“This has not been an easy decision to take for any of us, but considering the situation facing athletes around the world, many of them with insufficient access to training due to lockdown, and with travel restrictions still applying in many countries, we all agreed that the best option for all concerned was to move the events forward by one year”, explained the World Triathlon President and ITU Member, Marisol Casado.
“The local organisers in Almere, Townsville and Ibiza have worked tirelessly with our staff to continue with all the preparations, and exploration of the best options for the future. This agreement between us all will ensure that we can provide events in the next three years with the excellence and success that we have enjoyed on previous occasions – perfect scenario for athletes, friends and family to enjoy 10 days of multisport and triathlon at its best”, she said.
Richard Belderok, Almere Multisport World Championships Race Director, said: “For us it’s obviously very sad that we cannot celebrate our 40th anniversary with the ITU World Championships. Together with thousands of athletes we have been looking forward to this all year round. Nevertheless, we are more than happy to welcome everyone next year as we will organise the 2021 ITU Multisport World Championships from September 3 to September 12. For 2020 we still aim to organise a regular race, if possible due to the COVID-19 situation”.
IRONMAN Senior Vice President and Managing Director Oceania, Dave Beeche said that while disappointing, the World Triathlon decision to move all events forward one year is very understandable in these complex, quickly changing, and challenging times of COVID-19.
“Changing the scheduling for the Townsville event has been a very tough decision but one made in the best interest of the longevity of this wonderful event. The ten-day Multisport World Championships is one of the most popular and diverse events on the international calendar and we are excited to be bringing it to Australia. The organizing team will put all its energies into delivering an outstanding event for Townsville and the local region, the athletes, families and friends from all over the globe in 2022,” he said.
Vicente Marí, President of the Ibiza Consell, said: “We firmly believe Ibiza is a safe destination, but we also understand that an event like this one deserves to be a true celebration of the sport. And considering the current circumstances around the world, we are in favor of waiting one more year for the Multisport World Championships to arrive to Ibiza, giving also the other organisers a better chance for their events to succeed. It is the best solution so that we all can overcome the crisis and return with an even better event”.
World Triathlon wants to extend its gratitude as well to the European Triathlon Union, who has worked with the organisers of the European Multisport Championships in Soria (Spain) to 2022, so that it won’t clash with Almere or Ibiza.
The Multisport World Championships is a 10-day event that attracts more than 8,000 triathletes, competing at the duathlon, long distance triathlon, aquathlon and cross triathlon world championship races organized together during a week-long festival, both for elite and age-group athletes.
The World Triathlon Multisport Championships made its debut in the ITU calendar in 2017 in Penticton (Canada), a successful event that was followed by Fyn (Denmark) in 2018 and Pontevedra (Spain) in 2019. In 2021 the event will travel to the city of Almere (The Netherlands), to be followed by Townsville (Australia) in 2022 and Ibiza (Spain) in 2023.