IRONMAN, a Wanda Sports Holding company, is offering South African athletes an exclusive chance at early qualification for the 2018 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon at the 2017 Standard Bank IRONMAN® African Championship triathlon in Nelson Mandela Bay, 2 April 2017.
As part of a special holiday promotion, IRONMAN will make 50 qualification slots to the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, which will also take place in Nelson Mandela Bay, available at the 2017 Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship. The slots will be available exclusively to South African athletes, giving them the opportunity to be the first qualifiers to the 2018 World Championship event.
The October announcement that awarded the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to Nelson Mandela Bay created massive excitement amongst South African athletes and triathlon enthusiasts.
The 2017 Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship will continue to offer 75 qualification slots to the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. The additional 50 qualification slots to the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship event in Nelson Mandela Bay will be awarded according to the same procedure as the existing slot allocation. The highest-finishing South African athletes in each age category by gender will be eligible to claim a slot to the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay. If any slot is not accepted, the standard roll-down procedure will apply.
“The response from South African athletes to the awarding of the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been phenomenal. Our athletes are incredibly passionate about the sport and it is great that IRONMAN has decided to reward South African athletes for their support over the past twelve years,” said Paul Wolff, Operations Director for IRONMAN in South Africa.
The global rotation of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has allowed athletes from all over the world the opportunity to race against the world’s best athletes in their own countries. The 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship demonstrated this appeal with Australia being the most represented nation at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba.
“We saw a record number of Australians participating at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba this year and having the local athletes out in force was special. Our South African athletes are passionate and deserving of the World Championship in their country and these exclusive, early-opportunity slots will give them the chance to be part of the biggest triathlon event in the country’s history. A strong, local-athlete base going up against the world’s best adds a unique element to the race, especially in a city known for its extraordinary support,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN.
The 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship is expected to attract more than 6,000 athletes from more than 100 global qualifying events in locations such as Australia, China, Spain, South Africa and the Americas.
The next local qualification opportunity for South African athletes after the 2017 Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship will be at the 2018 Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa.
General entries to the 2017 Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship are open until 19 March 2017 or until sold out.
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