By Merryn Sherwood on 01/03/12 at 10:15 pm
“Vitoria-Gasteiz will leave an important mark as the host of the Long Distance Triathlon World Championships”, said Marisol Casado, president of International Triathlon Union (ITU) and Member of IOC, during the official launch in Spain this week.
People present at the official presentation of the event highlighted the superb conditions of the Álava capital to host a Long Distance Triathlon World Championship, as well as the symbiosis with the European Green Capital as a reward to the many years looking after the environment. The event attendees included, among others, the Mayor of the city, Mr. Javier Maroto, Mrs. Marisol Casado (Member of the CIO and President of the International Triathlon Union), Mr José Hidalgo (President of the Spanish Triathlon Federation), Mr. Agustín Méndez (President of the Basque Triathlon Federation), Mr Javier de Andrés (President of the Province of Álava), Mr. Antonio Rivera (Culture, Youth and Sport Vice-Secretary of the Basque Government) and Mr. Eneko Albizuri, Head of the Press Office in URA-Basque Agency for Water. It was held at Villa Suso Palace, in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Javier Maroto, opened the presentation highlighting the perfect symbiosis between Vitoria-Gasteiz and this world championship, “A triathlon world championship couldn’t be hosted by a city without the characteristics of a green capital. It’s a moment of a perfect symbiosis.”
Antonio Rivera described Vitoria-Gasteiz as a “wonderful stage”, while Javier de Andrés, sees in the celebration of the event the best chance to promote Vitoria-Gasteiz and the province, saying that “A world event like this it worth the effort, even if there are traffic cuts.”
Eneko Albizuri said that this international event is a remarkable chance to spread the quality of the water and the natural surroundings of Álava.
The President of the International Triathlon Union and Member of the CIO, Marisol Casado, has pointed out that nowadays “it is difficult to think of a better framework than Vitoria-Gasteiz for the International Federation.” In her speech she has thanked the capital of Álava for her effort and has underlined which two goals that she targets in her role as ITU President, promote the cultural diversity and encourage accessibility and agreements to unify the family of the triathlon.
Spanish Triathlon Federation (FETRI) President José Hidalgo has defended the growing of the triathlon as a federated sport and has pointed out the economical impact that will have in the city the hosting of this world championship. The estimated economic impact states that for each athlete, 1.5 people will accompany them, which means a remarkable level of guests in local hotels. Around 30 different nations are expected to send athletes and Hidalgo had no doubts, “Vitoria will leave an important mark.”
Agustín Méndez said that 650 athletes had registered so far, not including large teams expected from Germany, England and France. He also reminded those gathered that there is an open event, which is for triathletes who do not get a place in the elite of age-group races. There are 150 athletes registered for this category. Méndez also called for volunteers to come forward, with 350 required for the successful running of the event.
ITU Long Distance World Champion and two-time Olympian Eneko Llanos, who is from Vitoria, declared he was “very happy to try to be World Champion in front of his people.” He said from April onwards that he will specifically prepare this ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship. Llanos won the 2010 European LD Triathlon title in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The 2012 Vitoria-Gasteiz ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships will be decided over a 4km swim, 120 bike and a 30km run. The run is set to be the centre of attention on race day, with four laps through the finish area which is in the España Square, the very centre of the capital of Álava. For more information, visit the official website www.triatlonvitoria.com, which has pages in three languages.
Find more details about this event - 2012 Vitoria-Gasteiz ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships