The Ironman Group Announces Klagenfurt, Austria And Lahti, Finland As Finalists To Host 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship Triathlon
LAHTI, Finland / KLAGENFURT, Austria / TAMPA, Fla. (February 19, 2020) – The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), announced today that Klagenfurt, Austria and Lahti, Finland have been named finalists to host the 2022 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon, which will rotate back to Europe after last playing host to the event in 2019. The 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event, a format that was first adopted in 2017 when the event was held in Chattanooga – with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.
“The evolution of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been considerable and as we return to Europe in 2022, we have two locations in Lahti, Finland and Klagenfurt, Austria that have shown they deserve this opportunity to host the world’s best,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “Not only do these cities have the ability to provide our athletes extraordinary race experiences, venues and local culture, they are sure to attract athlete’s family and friends from around the world. Just as the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship showcases world-class competition, it is important that we continue to select venues from around the globe that meet the standards these top performers deserve. We look forward to the final process playing out as we determine who will be selected as the host city for the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon.”
The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began in Clearwater, Florida in 2006 and since that time, has toured incredible destinations around the world with stops in Henderson, Nevada (2011-13); Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (2014); Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria (2015); Queensland, Australia (2016); Chattanooga, Tennessee (2017); Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (2018); and Nice, France (2019). This year, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will move to Taupō, New Zealand who has been playing host to IRONMAN events for 20 years. In 2021, the event will rotate back to the U.S. where St. George, Utah will host the two-day championship event.
“We are thrilled to welcome the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship back on European soil in 2022,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director of EMEA for The IRONMAN Group. “Both, Lahti and Klagenfurt would be deserving of a World Championship event. They have shown outstanding commitment to host this unique two-day race and I would like to congratulate all involved on their respective bids and the high-quality events they have provided athletes both past and present.”
These two world-class cities have a great deal to offer athletes and spectators alike in their bid for 2022. Here is a look at each host city finalist in more detail.
- Klagenfurt, Austria – Located on the eastern shore of Lake Wörthersee in the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, Klagenfurt has been a staple on the IRONMAN calendar since 1999. Playing host city to the very popular IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten, Klagenfurt lures athletes with its picturesque backdrops between Lake Wörthersee and the Southern Alps. For over 20 years, Klagenfurt has proven to be one of the most beautiful races in the world, also providing a fast and legendary course. With a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wörthersee, athletes exit to the Lendkanal, where athletes are greeted by massive crowds lining the shores. The bike course leads athletes along Lake Wörthersee to Lake Faaker See and via Rosental Valley with its view at the South Alps back to Klagenfurt. The race finishes with athletes running through Klagenfurt’s old town, providing athletes a chance to experience Klagenfurt’s unique cauldron-like finish line. Klagenfurt stands for Alps-Adriatic culinary experiences, quality of life between the old town and the lake, and a sport and active lifestyle.
“IRONMAN Austria has been successfully held in Klagenfurt for more than twenty years. The event has an excellent international reputation. The people of Klagenfurt are triathlon fanatics and ensure a fantastic atmosphere along the race route, supporting the athletes all the way to the finish line,” said Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz, Mayor of Klagenfurt. “This unique atmosphere, the perfect conditions, and an internationally successful organising team make Klagenfurt the perfect event location for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2022.”
- Lahti, Finland – Situated in Southern Finland, Lahti is the gateway to Finnish Lake District and located less than an hour from Helsinki. This innovative community currently hosts the Nokian Tyres IRONMAN 70.3 Finland triathlon, which in just two years has become a favorite on the European IRONMAN 70.3 calendar. Lahti offers visitors the opportunity to experience national landscapes in the Päijänne National Park. Once visitors arrive in Lahti, everything is within walkable distance, including the city’s transport hub, restaurants, shopping and hotels. Sibelius Hall, where the finish line is located, is one of the world’s largest public wooden buildings built in Finland in the last 100 years. The course has historically begun in the beautiful Lake Vesijärvi, adjacent to Sibelius hall. Athletes then embark on a bike course that leads athletes through forests along lakes and across rolling hills surrounded by typical Finnish villages and followed by a flat and fast run course that leads athletes along the lakeside.
“The City of Lahti is known as an organiser of international big sports events. Although this reputation has mainly been gained through winter events, Nokian Tyres IRONMAN 70.3 Finland, organised twice in Lahti, has shown that Lahti is a full-blooded triathlon city,” said City of Lahti Mayer Pekka Timonen. “The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2022 in Lahti would be a great thing for Finland, for the city of Lahti as the European Green Capital 2021 as well as for the local and global triathlon culture in Scandinavia and northern Europe.”
Athletes can compete at these finalist venues in advance of having an opportunity to qualify for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship as general registration for the 2020 event in Lahti, is open now while limited entries through travel partner Nirvana are available for the 2020 IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten. The Nokian Tyres IRONMAN 70.3 Finland triathlon takes place on Saturday, June 27, 2020 with further details available at www.ironman.com/im703-finland. IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten is scheduled for Sunday, July 5, 2020 with details available at www.ironman.com/im-austria. Both events will also take place in 2021 and 2022 prior to the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship giving athletes additional opportunities to compete on world championship-caliber courses.
For the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, IRONMAN expects approximately 250,000 registered athletes from around the world to compete at any of the more than 120 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series in locations such as New Zealand, Slovenia, Germany, Argentina, and Philippines to earn a coveted slot. In addition, each age-group champion at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah will automatically qualify for the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
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