TRIATHLON: It seems Australia and the rest of the world can't keep away from the Sunshine Coast, with Mooloolaba Triathlon organisers yesterday confirming next year's event will double as the Australian Championship.
Following the success of this month's IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, officials said it would only be fitting for one of the biggest mass participation Olympic distance triathlons in the world to host the championship in its 25th year.
It means the race will hold extra bearing on the selection of the Australian team to travel to the 2017 World Championships in the Netherlands.
IRONMAN Oceania managing director David Beeche said: "The Mooloolaba Triathlon is a such an iconic event and so closely intertwined within the history of triathlon in Australia."
It's another feather in the cap for events on the Sunshine Coast, and remarkably, despite being one of the world's largest, the event is considered the second-largest Olympic distance event in Australia behind the Noosa Triathlon.
Sunshine Coast Coucil's Economic Tourism, Events and Sport portfolio Councillor Jason O'Pray said it was further proof of why the Coast should be considered the leading destination for triathlons worldwide.
"We (the council) are so wrapt ... absolutely proud," Cr O'Pray said.
He said the Coast had some of the world's best triathletes living and training here, such as defending Mooloolaba Triathlon champion Caroline Steffen, who earlier this month finished fifth in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
Triathlon Australia CEO Miles Stewart, who won the Mooloolaba Triathlon in 1996, said the race held a special place in his heart.
"We're very proud and excited to be hosting another Australian Championship race in Queensland and there is none more fitting than the iconic Mooloolaba Triathlon," he said.
Mooloolaba will become race six of Triathlon Australia's eight-race qualifying series for the 2017 World Championship. The 2018 world titles will be held on the Gold Coast.
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