The Almere Multisport World Championships moved to 2021

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.

Multisport World Cup in Wenzhou

The World Triathlon Executive Board also approved the dates for the second edition of the Wenzhou Multisport World Cup, that will take place on October 17-18, 2020. The Dongtou district archipelago outside the Chinese city of Wenzhou, will be the perfect scenario for the second edition of the Multisport World Cup, a pioneering tier of events for World Triathlon that will see athletes competing in a Long Distance triathlon format and a Duathlon race.

Following on from the success of the Multisport World Championships, the World Cups will be held throughout the season, with events providing new opportunities for top Elite athletes to compete for prize money, as well as mass participation Age-Group races, in multisport disciplines outside of the standard and sprint-distance triathlons. To be considered to host such an event, organisers must offer at least two of the following events; Long Distance Triathlon (including Aquabike), Duathlon, Cross Triathlon, Cross Duathlon and Aquathlon.

The Long Distance Triathlon race in Wenzhou will see a 2km ocean swim in the East China Sea followed by 80km bike and 20km run through the lush, green island of Dongtou. The Duathlon race will be a 5km run, 30km bike and another 5km run.

Viborg Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon World Championships moved to 2021

Due to the continued situation with the COVID-19 outbreak, the local organizer committee of the 2020 Viborg ITU Powerman MD Duathlon World Championships has been forced to move the event to autumn 2021. The new date will be announced as soon as possible.

“This has not been an easy decision and we know this announcement will upset the athletes’ plans”, said the organization. “We are aiming for a world-class event, with participants from all over the world. We, therefore, have to take into consideration that some athletes might not be able or allowed to travel to Denmark in October 2020, furthermore we acknowledge that many international athletes don’t feel safe traveling in these times. We are still looking into an autumn scenario for the World Championships in Viborg next year”, they explained.

Athletes already registered will be moved automatically to next year’s event. 

ITU Multisport World Championships Almere schuift jaar door naar 2021, wel hoop op ‘normale’ Challenge Almere-Amsterdam 2020

Na uitvoerig overleg met alle betrokken partijen, waaronder uiteraard de Executive Board van de ITU, is vandaag besloten om de ITU Multisport World Championships – dat in Almere gepland stond van 4 tot en met 13 september 2020 – geen doorgang te laten vinden, maar een jaar door te schuiven: in 2021 keert dit tiendaagse evenement met zes WK’s dus alsnog naar Almere. Met name de wereldwijde reisrestricties maken dat de betrokken partijen dit besluit nemen. Dat betekent voor Challenge Almere-Amsterdam, dit jaar de gastheer van de ITU Multisport World Championships, niet dat er in september 2020 geen races worden gehouden: er wordt nog steeds ingezet op een mooi evenement met idem races, zij het mogelijk in een (extra) aangepaste vorm.

Race Director Richard Belderok toont zich enerzijds teleurgesteld, maar tegelijkertijd verwachtingsvol richting toekomst. ,,Voor ons is het uiteraard heel verdrietig nieuws dat we ons 40-jarig jubileum niet kunnen vieren met de ITU Multisport World Championships. Samen met duizenden atleten en vrijwilligers hebben we een heel jaar naar dit evenement uitgekeken. Voor nu kunnen we niet wachten atleten volgend jaar te verwelkomen, wanneer we het WK in 2021 van 3 tot en met 12 september zullen organiseren. Voor 2020 mikken we nog steeds op het organiseren van een ‘normale’ Challenge Almere-Amsterdam, als het coronavirus dat tegen die tijd toelaat.”

Races op oorspronkelijke data

Vooralsnog blijven races als de Junior Challenge en Business-Relay (10 september 2020), No-Limit Challenge en Senior Challenge (11 september 2020) en Open Serie Long Distance (12 september 2020) op de oorspronkelijke datum gepland. ,,Als het veilig is en kan, zetten we daar vol op in”, aldus Belderok.

Het grootste knelpunt om de ITU Multisport World Championships in 2020 te kunnen organiseren, zit hem volgens Belderok in de reisrestricties waar tientallen landen over de hele wereld mee te maken hebben. ,,Atleten zouden simpelweg niet bij onze wedstrijd kunnen komen. Zij komen overal vandaan en we hebben altijd meer dan zestig nationaliteiten aan de start. De deelnemende bonden hebben aangegeven te verwachten dat hun atleten niet naar Almere kunnen afreizen. En als de meeste landen niet deel kunnen nemen, kan er geen sprake zijn van een Wereldkampioenschap.  Dat gaf voor de ITU de doorslag.”

ITU: ‘Dank aan organisaties voor flexibiliteit’

ITU President Marisol Casado voegt daar aan toe. ,,Dit is voor niemand een makkelijk besluit geweest. Maar gezien alle maatregelen wereldwijd, waardoor veel atleten geen mogelijkheid hebben om te trainen, zijn we overeengekomen dat alle wedstrijden een jaar worden doorgeschoven.” Daarmee doelt Casado dus op het ITU Multisport World Championships in Townsville (Australië) en op Ibiza (Spanje), die nu doorschuiven naar respectievelijk 2022 en 2023. ,,We danken alle organisaties, Nationale bonden en lokale overheden voor hun flexibiliteit en bereidheid tot het vinden van een oplossing.”

De ITU Multisport World Championships is een tiendaags evenement dat meer dan 8000 atleten aantrekt, die zullen uitkomen tijdens de Long Distance Triathlon, Duathlon, Aquathlon en Cross Triathlon.