By Merryn Sherwood on 08/04/11 at 6:54 am
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A preview of the upcoming season opener in Sydney
The 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship series had a high-flying start today when the season was kicked-off, literally, at altitude.
Triathletes like Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Laurent Vidal, Joao Silva, Lisa Norden, Paula Findlay, Andrea Hewitt, Kate Roberts, Vicky Holland and Alexander Brukhankov turned-up to help celebrate the start of the season alongside ITU vice-president Bill Walker, Olympians and Laureus Sport for Good ambassadors Daley Thompson and Dawn Fraser, officials and sponsors from across the world who went-up 36 stories for lunch at Sydney’s Shangri La Altitude bar.
But the even the stunning harbour view could hardly compete with the task at hand, kick-starting the third-season of the Dextro Energy Triathlon Series. After a viewing of the 2011 official preview video that left the room buzzing, Walker introduced this year’s season.
“We are really proud of the series, it’s amazing where it has come in two years,” Walker said. “Throughout our World Cup series, I think we always wanted it to be a series like this, races taking part in the centre of the world’s top cities and now in this world championship series it’s happened.”
As well as thanking all the ITU and series sponsors for their important role in the series, Walker also gave a special mention to the main stars of the show.
“The athletes are why we do this, without them we cannot have the series, so thank you for coming-out,” Walker said.
Christian Toetzke, the chief executive officer of official ITU partner Upsolut, gave an insight into the ever-growing world of triathlon’s professional live TV. This year it will be broadcast live on free to air television in 60 countries with 51 broadcast partners around the world and the total number of broadcasting hours has increased from 550 to 670. That in turn means a larger audience, with millions expected to tune in around the world. The 2010 season averaged almost 400million broadcast contacts each race.
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Ambassador and legendary Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser also spoke, welcoming Emma Snowsill and Jan Frodeno into the Laureus family. Snowsill and Frodeno are the first two triathletes to be named Laureus Ambassadors and the Sport for Good Foundation is the ITU’s official charity partner.
In summing up, Events New South Wales chief executive Steve Parmenter said that the event couldn’t have been more fitting for Sydney and he hoped it turned into a tradition.
“The fit between triathlon and what we are trying to show with Sydney is second to none and we want to turn this into an event that triathletes all around the world will want to partake in the future,” Parmenter said. “If you want to run a marathon, then you talk about running the New York marathon. We hope one day that they will want to compete in the Sydney triathlon.”
The elite men’s and women’s Sydney Dextro Energy Triathlon Series races are on Sunday April 10. For more information, see the official ITU race preview here.
Find more details about this event - 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon - ITU World Championship Series Sydney