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ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and World Triathlon today announced plans for Abu Dhabi to host the World Triathlon Championship Finals 2022 on Yas Island.

Abu Dhabi will join a list of major cities that previously hosted the event, including London, Budapest, Beijing, Chicago, Lausanne and the Gold Coast. It will also mark the first time that the prestigious season finale of the global series will be hosted in the MENA region.

Organizers revealed that the prestigious World Triathlon Championship Finals, the world championship of the race format, will take place on Nov. 23-26 across the waterways, tracks and roads of Yas Island. The event village will be hosted on Yas Bay, in front of Etihad Arena.

“We are delighted to announce that Abu Dhabi will be hosting the World Triathlon Championship Finals 2022 in November,” Aref Al-Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said. “This reflects our vision and ambitious plans to be the leading destination for major global and international sporting events, cementing Abu Dhabi’s leading reputation in this field.

“We are proud of the great trust given to Abu Dhabi by international sporting federations, and we value the fruitful partnership with World Triathlon, which has resulted in many important achievements and milestones for triathlon sport in the UAE,” he said.

The event is expected to attract more than 7,500 local, regional and international triathletes who will compete across five categories: Elite Men & Women, Elite U23 Men & Women, Elite Para Men & Women,Age Group Men & Women (super sprint and standard distance) and Community Races. The event promises to be a fantastic four days of elite competition and grassroots community participation, with athletes of various age levels and abilities invited to enter.

“The partnership with the UAE Triathlon Federation and Miral has played an important role in the UAE throughout the years and together we are proud to welcome over 7,500 triathletes from all over the world to Abu Dhabi’s premier sporting destination, Yas Island,” Al-Awani said.

Abu Dhabi’s journey to hosting the world championship of the sport started in 2010.

From 2010 to 2014, on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche, the capital hosted five editions of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon — an all-inclusive race welcoming an exhibition field of elite athletes who raced alongside age-grouper and junior triathletes.

In 2014, the prestigious season-opening date on the World Triathlon Championship Series became available and Abu Dhabi stakeholders took the opportunity to host the first and only WTCS event in the region.

The inaugural World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi took place in March 2015 on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. The following edition in March 2016 was also hosted in the same location, before moving to Yas Island in 2017. With the ambitious vision of eventually bidding to host the World Championship Finals in future years, the move to Yas Island was a strategic one. The new host venue partnership with Miral created additional capacity to keep up with the ever-growing participation, paving the way to hosting the World Championship in 2022.

Marisol Casado, president of World Triathlon and IOC board member, said: “For all the triathlon family it is a pleasure to return to Abu Dhabi, this time for the crown jewel of our events, the Championship Finals.”

“It is amazing to witness first hand how the Abu Dhabi event has grown from a small community race to the top level of our events,” said Casado. “The best athletes of the world have always delivered incredible races here, and I am positive that in November we will crown here in Abu Dhabi the best triathletes of the new generation.’’

In addition to hosting the finale for the first time, Abu Dhabi and the UAE will have another reason to celebrate during the World Triathlon Championship Finals: Team UAE will go head-to-head against the world’s best amateur triathletes.

The UAE Triathlon Federation announced that a team of athletes will be selected to represent the UAE in Age Group races around the world, starting with the World Championship in Abu Dhabi this coming November. The team will be selected from a mix of UAE national and UAE-resident members of the UAE Triathlon Federation, with the selection criteria due to be announced soon. Team UAE will represent the country at the prestigious “parade of nations” during the opening ceremony of the World Championships, as well as toeing the line in UAE racing kit.

“We look forward to opening qualification for athletes wishing to represent Team UAE at triathlon races around the world, starting with the World Championships in November,” said Khaled Al-Fahim, president of the UAE Triathlon Federation.

“Watching Team UAE athletes lining up on the start line will be a proud moment — the culmination of many years of hard work building the triathlon community in the country,” he added. “I encourage all those who would like to take part to check out the qualification criteria, which will be announced soon.

“November’s World Triathlon Championship Finals is an incredible opportunity for Emirati and UAE-resident triathletes, and aspiring triathletes, to race at a World Championship event on home soil.”

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