In just a few days, triathletes from around the world will gather in Budapest Hungary for the Dextro Energy ITU World Championship Grand Finale. In a Twitter post, I posted a link to the USA Triathlon press release noting that Team USA is sending more than 400 of the nation’s fastest athletes to compete in sprint and Olympic distance non-drafting triathlon; aquathlon; paratriathlon; and junior, U-23 and elite draft-legal World Championship events. Check this list to see if anyone you know is racing next weekend.
On the official site for the Grand Finale you can see inspiring video showcasing clips from races around the world. In addition to a full schedule of racing, the international governing body for triathlon gathers for the annual congress meeting and various committee meetings. I was elected to the Constitution Committee a few years back and will attend the related meetings.
Of course it’s always fun to stay and watch all of the world-class racing too – best wishes to all racers.
I see from the weather predictions that I need to pack rain gear. It’s looking like high 60s, low 70s and rain for some of the days.
In 2008, The International Triathlon Union (ITU) partnered with SPORTFIVE and UPSOLUT (companies owned by the French media conglomerate, Lagadère Group ), to increase the level of ITU racing and the sponsorship. Dextro Energy will be the title sponsor of the series, known as the Dextro Energy – ITU World Championship Series.
The World Championship Series will be seven events and a Grand Final, where the world’s best triathletes compete head-to-head for rankings and prize money. Each of the races will be modeled after the highly successful Hamburg event that draws huge numbers of spectators. In 2007, the World Championships held in Hamburg drew 7.7 million live TV viewers and in excess of 80 million viewers in total. Taking this model to a global market is one goal of the SPORTFIVE Group. You can find more information on the media and marketing rights here.
For the elite athletes, this means that a record $3.5-million USD (double that awarded in previous years) will be at stake for top-level prize money and the year-end bonus pool will be three-times greater in 2009 than in previous years. There is guaranteed live international high-definition television coverage, which brings more value to sponsors, athletes and the viewing audience.
To say this a very exciting time for the sport is an enormous understatement. Stay tuned as series kicks off May 10th in Singapore.