ITU today named Chicago as the host city for the 27th edition of the 2015 World Triathlon Grand Final. In preparation for the Grand Final, Chicago will also host a World Triathlon Series event in 2014.
“We are thrilled to bring the championship final of our World Triathlon Series to Chicago, which has a strong history of hosting world class sporting events,” ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado said. “USA Triathlon has also been active in organising several World Triathlon Series races in the last several years. We are confident their combined experience will produce an excellent World Championship event.”
The 2015 event will mark the first time the United States has hosted the Grand Final elite races in nearly 20 years, with Cleveland having organised the race in 1996. The US also hosted the second-ever World Championships in Orlando in 1990, as well as the Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii in 2005.
Last year marked the debut of San Diego’s appearance on the ITU World Triathlon Series calendar, becoming the second U.S. city to host a round of the series after Washington, D.C. in 2009. The Chicago Sports Commission has played an integral role in bringing the international series to the city, which will organized in conjunction with USA Triathlon and Lagardere Unlimited.
“I am honored to announce Chicago will be joining the ranks of other global cities as a host of the ITU World Triathlon Series, beginning in 2014,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “With our gorgeous Lake Michigan setting, fervor for sports, and international demographics, Chicago is an ideal venue for this illustrious event. We look forward to welcoming these world-class athletes and their fans to Chicago and are certain that they will all have a wonderful time.”
In addition to crowning the 2015 ITU World Champions, the event will also name world champions in junior and U23 categories, as well as Paratriathlon, which will debut in the Paralympics at Rio 2016. After record-high numbers of age-group triathletes descended on Auckland in 2012, thousands of athletes from around the world are expected to travel to Chicago.
The ITU Triathlon World Championships were first held in Avignon, France in 1989. In 2009, the championships were revamped, expanding the former single-day World Championship race into an exciting multi-city global series, culminating with the ITU Triathlon World Championship Grand Final. Athletes earn points throughout the season and those who win the overall series are crowned the ITU Triathlon World Champions.
The 2013 PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final will be held in London 11-15 September where age-group athletes will get the opportunity to participate on much the same course as the 2012 London Olympics in Hyde Park. The 2014 World Champions will be named in Edmonton, Canada.
Official dates for the 2015 World Championships will be confirmed and announced as soon as possible.
By Erin Greene