(Cape Town, 22 January 2019) Ten South African triathletes are among the top contenders to be crowned the Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town champion. The event takes place on Sunday, 10 February 2019, and officially opens the 2019 ITU (International Triathlon Union) global race calendar.
The event is the only ITU race that takes place on African soil. It forms part of the Discovery Get Active Weekend, which sees world class triathletes competing for world ranking and Olympic qualification points, as well as multisport enthusiasts and novices enjoying an exciting day of swimming, cycling and running along the picturesque Atlantic Seaboard and iconic city landmarks.
“The 2019 Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town has attracted a record elite entry field, with many more of the world’s top triathletes on the waiting list, hoping to secure a last-minute spot at the start on 10 February,” says event director Gary Marescia.
“This is an important event for triathletes hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo.”
South African Richard Murray will be back to defend his title, and is set to go head-to-head with countryman Henri Schoeman, who came second in the 2018 event. Schoeman became the first South African to win an Olympic medal for triathlon by taking bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he recently clinched a gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. They are joined in the men’s division by Wian Sullwald, who came second in the 2018 Dakar ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup in December.
Gillian Sanders, who took second place in the 2018 event leads the South African women’s pack. She was part of the South African 2018 Commonwealth Games team, and took first place at the 2018 Agadir ATU Triathlon African Cup in November.
She is joined by fellow countrymen Jodie Berry, Shanae Williams, Amper Schlebusch, Simone Ackermann (4th in 2018), and Anel Radford.
International competitors setting their sights on the podium include Austrian Lukas Pertl (3rd in 2018) and Stefan Zachäus from Luxembourg who is keen to rise up in the ITU ranking in order to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, as well as Slovakia’s Richard Varga and Russian brothers Dmitry and Igor Polyanskiy.
In the women’s division, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy (2 x world champ and gold medallist in the 2018 Commonwealth Games) and Rachel Klamer from the Netherlands – ITU world ranked 8th and 10th respectively – are laser focused on making their mark in Cape Town.
The race will start at the V&A Waterfront, with the swim leg of the triathlon beginning in Quay 6, before the route takes the athletes past the Green Point precinct and along the scenic Sea Point promenade before finishing on the Cape Town Stadium Forecourt.
Notes Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato,”The City of Cape Town is proud to support and host an event of an international stature as the Discovery Triathlon World Cup. It is one of many exciting sporting spectacles on Cape Town’s events calendar. Not only does the event provide exhilarating entertainment on land and sea but it also contributes to our efforts of creating opportunities for our residents.
“We are looking forward to seeing the talent on display and wish all the athletes and spectators a wonderful event.”
In addition to hosting the world’s best, the event also attracts almost 2,000 recreational triathletes. Entries close on 31 January, and athletes may visit www.triathlon.capetown for more information and to enter.
Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town Facts:
- The Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town officially opens the 2019 ITU (International Triathlon Union) global race calendar, and is the only ITU race that takes place on African soil.
- The event forms part of the Discovery Get Active Weekend, which also includes the Discovery Retro Run on the Saturday.
- The event has grown from strength to strength since its inauguration in 2014 and enjoys immense popularity among professional and seasoned triathletes.
- The event also enjoys continued appeal among athletes who want to participate in a multisport event for the first time.
- The 2018 event included 82 elite athletes representing 22 countries, as well as:
- Almost 2 000 athletes participating in the triathlon and duathlon;
- 97 development athletes
- The Discovery Get Active Weekend takes place over two days (9 and 10 Feb 2019), with most of the action being centred around the Green Point Precinct, Cape Town Stadium and the V&A Waterfront.
About the International Triathlon Union (ITU)
The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon and all related Multisport disciplines including Duathlon, Aquathlon, Cross Triathlon and Winter Triathlon. ITU was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France.
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, ITU also has offices in Vancouver, Canada and Madrid, Spain. It now has over 160 affiliated National Federations on five continents and is the youngest International Federation in the Olympic Games. Triathlon was awarded Olympic Games status in 1994 and made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000.
South African Richard Murray will return to the Discovery Triathlon World Cup Cape Town on 10 February 2019 to defend his title.