Earlier this year, Tunisia became the seventh and most recent African nation to join the International Triathlon Union as a National Federation and the country has the honor of hosting the 2008 African Triathlon Championships from March 8th to 9th. Last week, ITUs Director of Event Development Gergely Markus completed a successful site visit to Yasmine Hammamet in preparation for a successful event. Accompanied by Eugene Kraus, one of the most experienced International Technical Officials and hosted by Abdelbacet Abdouli, President of the Tunisian Triathlon Association and Sahla Feki Makni, Event Director, the team walked through the proposed bike and run course and the transition area and inspected the possible locations of the swim course. They also discussed other event matters including potential sponsors, media coverage and local participation.
Im confident Yasmine Hammamet can host world class triathlon events due to the dedication of the local team, the location of the competition and the venue setup, said Markus.
With the combined expertise and knowledge of Kraus and Markus, they took the opportunity to run a short event development workshop for the key technical staff and officials of the event. The seminar focused on the actual event venue and course and helped the local team understand the importance of the African Championships. A comprehensive Technical Officials workshop including theoretical and practical sessions will be held in February 2008.
Yasmine Hammamet is Tunisias newest resort. Situated just south of Tunis, it is made up of predominantly four and five star luxury hotels. Built around a 740-berth marina, it recreates the style of many elegant resorts around the Mediterranean.
The town overlooks the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Hammamet, and is at the beginning of the Cap Bon peninsula, which is only 140km (84 miles) from Sicily (Italy). Inland it is all rolling vineyards and agricultural land. The Gulf of Hammamet has some of the best beaches in Mediterranean Sea. It has lovely stretches, interspersed with private hotel beaches. Plenty of sports facilities are available including windsurfing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, golf, and diving. The beaches are shallow and clean, perfect for a wide selection of water-sports.
The first African Championships were staged in 1993 and had 300 competitors and the elite race was won by Hanele Steyn and Conrad Stoltz both from South Africa.