Triathlon World Cup Secured For Mooloolaba
Premier Peter today announced that Queensland will host a leg of the ITU World Cup to be staged in conjunction with the 2005 Mooloolaba Triathlon (29 April - 1 May).
Mr Beattie said that USM Events and Queensland Events, with the support of the Maroochy Shire Council, had secured Australia's only leg of the prestigious 2005 ITU World Cup series.
"The awarding of World Cup status to Mooloolaba spearheads our strategy of building the Mooloolaba Tri and Noosa Tri as Australia's two leading events in this rapidly growing sport," said Mr Beattie.
"USM Events, a Queensland company, has earned an international reputation for organising world-class triathlon events such as Mooloolaba and Noosa - the world's second largest triathlon event.
"Today's announcement ideally positions them, and the Smart State, to secure future World Cup legs and enhance our bid to stage the 2008 ITU World Triathlon Championships on the Gold Coast where the 1991 ITU World Championships were held," Mr Beattie said.
"When people think triathlon, they will automatically think Queensland."
Les McDonald, President - International Triathlon Union (ITU) said the ITU was very pleased to be coming back to Australia in 2005 with a leg of World Cup Triathlon Series in Mooloolaba on Sunday, May 1.
"We are looking forward to working with Garth Prowd and his team at USM Events again. The world's best triathletes will gather for the World Cup races around the globe and they will take on take on particular importance now as we travel down the road to the Beijing Olympics in 2008," Mr McDonald said.
2004 Olympic silver medallist, Lorretta Harrop, described the news of holding a World Cup in her own backyard as 'a dream come true'.
"One of my biggest aims next year is to establish myself again as one of the top triathletes in the world rankings and what better way to start it off than by racing at one of my favourite destinations in the world... Mooloolaba!
"We can all rest assured that Garth and the team at USM will put together, along with the ITU, one of the most popular races to now be on the World Cup calendar," she said.
Champion British representative triathlete and 2004 Mooloolaba Triathlon winner, Liz Blatchford, said she was extremely pleased that Mooloolaba had secured one of the only World Cup triathlons in the southern hemisphere.
"It is a supreme venue over a testing course. In past years the race has always been a huge success and a personal favourite. I have no doubt that in becoming a World Cup it will continue in this fashion and also take further steps toward being one of the world's best races.
"Considering the large amount of world-class triathletes coming from Australia, this is a huge bonus. I look forward to racing in May," said Ms Blatchford.
The ITU have an international television deal in place for the 2005 World Cup series which will see a one-hour television package, featuring triathlon-specific athlete and event location profiles, broadcast to a potential global audience of one billion households on major networks in more than 100 countries.
The 2005 World Cup series will be staged between April and November 2005. Other countries proposed to stage legs of the World Cup include the USA, Mexico, Spain, Canada, England, Hungary, Switzerland and Germany.
The Mooloolaba Triathlon, which enjoys the ongoing support of the State Government through Queensland Events, includes three days of multi-sport competition with headline events ranging from an ocean swim, twilight run and superkidz triathlon to the state beach volleyball finals. For further information visit http://www.usmevents.com.au/.
16 December 2004
Premier's Office: 3224 4500
Queensland Events: Sharyn Sawyer: Ph 07 3222 1028 / 0419 509 509