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Taupo hosting of Ironman 70.3 World Championship put on hold

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

- IRONMAN today announced that the 2022 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship that was set to be held in Taupō, New Zealand will be shifting to St. George, Utah, United States.

Taupō was originally set to host the 2020 edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which was postponed due to the ongoing and widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the continued impact of international travel and border restrictions has meant that the 2022 event cannot take place in New Zealand next December, with event stakeholders to discuss how to bring the event to Taupō in a future year.

Geoff Meyer, Oceania Managing Director for The IRONMAN Group, said that while the news was disappointing the organisation remained committed to bringing the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to Taupō.

"Taupō, and New Zealand in general, has always been a special destination for IRONMAN and while it’s very disappointing that we won’t be able to hold the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship next year as planned we look forward to working with all stakeholders to secure a date for a future edition of the event," said Meyer. "The current uncertainties related to border and travel restrictions is continuing to have a significant impact on major events such as the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, but we remain committed to showcasing the beautiful Lake Taupō and surrounds in future years."

Taupō District Mayor David Trewavas said he is confident the district would take the news in its stride.

"I think it’s important to look at it from how big an impact COVID-19 is having across the globe - particularly with the new Delta strain - and understand that having a longer lead-in time will actually allow us to host more athletes," said Mayor Trewavas. "As the world opens up in the next few years, athletes will have more events across the world to qualify for the world championship."

"We are working closely with our stakeholders and IRONMAN to come up with a new date as quickly as possible. This is a huge event for us - and we are really looking forward to finally being able to showcase our district to the world and reap the rewards that this international event will have for us here," he said.

IRONMAN also announced additional changes to the 2021 and 2022 editions of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship based on the continued global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With as many as half of the athlete field potentially prevented from being able to attend due to travel and border restrictions, the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission taking place in St. George, Utah will shift to a single-day event with both men and women racing on Saturday, September 18.

With the shift of the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship to St. George, Utah, the race date will also move to October 28-29, 2022, giving the travel-restricted athlete community an opportunity to race in the "Land of Endurance" with a two-day event format. The previously announced 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship taking place in Lahti, Finland will continue as planned.

Further updates on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship can be found at http://www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship.

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