March 22, 2016 - 1:00 PM
PENTICTON - The countdown is underway to the Penticton 2017 ITU Triathlon World Championships Festival, with organizers officially launching the event this week.
With participant numbers expected to reach or exceed those seen in the last few years of the Penticton Ironman, organizers hope the new event, which will get underway 514 days from today, March 22, will help Penticton regain its footing in the world of triathlon.
The 10-day event is expected to attract 4,000 athletes from around the world as they compete in four separate world championships, including duathlon, aquathlon, cross triathlon and the international title for long distance triathlon.
The event could bring millions in economic benefits to the city and region as thousands of athletes converge on the South Okanagan for the event, which will be paralleled with parties and side events throughout the festival, Michael Brown, executive director of the event, says.
Brown expects athletes will make return visits to the area to train prior to the competition, many of those also returning after the event once they discover the valley.
“Triathlon is something we do very well," Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said during the launch. "This area brands itself as a getaway from the beaten path, and we expect the event will have a residual effect as athletes and international media carry that message back to their homes.”
The Penticton 2017 ITU event will be the first one in which all four world championships take place at the same time, in the same locale. It is expected representatives of more than 150 countries will participate in the event, which takes place from Aug. 18 to 27, 2017.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016