Nelson Mandela Bay bags IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship

Nelson Mandela Bay will host the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in September 2018 – a “pinnacle event” on the global calendar.

It is the first time the event will be hosted in Africa.

Nelson Mandela Bay first hosted an IRONMAN event in 2004 and has hosted the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship since 2015.

IRONMAN chief executive officer Andrew Messick said they were “delighted” to bring the 70.3 championship to the Bay.

“Tens of thousands athletes have enjoyed racing in our events in South Africa over the past 12 years and we are excited to welcome some of the world’s most elite triathletes to the African continent,” Messick said.

The 70.3 championship event expects 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.

It is part of a week-long festival which will include a range of lifestyle events for the community and visitors to enjoy.

Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Atholl Trollip said they looked forward to “welcoming the world’s athletes to the Bay”.

“We are proud of our excellent track record in hosting the IRONMAN African Championship – it’s on the strength of this, our climate, our beautiful beaches and our tourism potential that we are now in a position to host this prestigious international event,” Trollip said.

Hans Peter Zurbruegg, Managing Director of IRONMAN Europe, Middle East and Africa said: “We are excited to welcome triathletes from throughout our region and around the world and show them true South African hospitality. For more than a decade IRONMAN has had the privilege of working with Nelson Mandela Bay and the city of Port Elizabeth to put up world-class events.”

The championship will be held on September 1 and 2.

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