THE Ironman Middle East 70.3 Championship was officially inaugurated yesterday at a Press conference and the launch of an Expo.
The supporting events commence today near Bahrain Bay while the Ironman event will be held tomorrow near Avenues Mall.
Today’s programmes include Ironkids, IronGirls, Aquathlon and a race for cancer patients. The Aquathlon starts at 10am and finishes at 11.30am. The winners will be awarded immediately after the event.
The IronGirls and IronKids will take place at 4pm and 5pm respectively while the Expo will remain open today from 9am to 5pm.
Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, representative of His Majesty for Charity Work and Youth Affairs and chairman of Supreme Council of Youth and Sports, said Bahrain has become the home of triathlon, pointing out that Bahrain’s organisation of this event and other major sports activities confirm the kingdom’s keenness to spread this sport.
“Since the beginning of Bahrain’s hosting of the Ironman Middle East 70.3 Championship, we have put a comprehensive plan and strategy to spread this sport among all age categories, including children because Bahrain is the home of the triathlon sport in the Middle East,” added Shaikh Nasser.
“We hope to discover new talents through the IronKids and IronGirls as we are looking forward to building Bahrain’s future in this sport.
“We want to create champions in this game who will be able to honour the kingdom abroad. We are looking ahead for interesting races.”
Meanwhile, Amal Al Murbati, managing director of Faaliyat Company, the organisers of the event, hailed the support and encouragement of Shaikh Nasser during yesterday’s press conference which was also attended by the event’s main sponsors Batelco and Gulf Air.
Al Murbati added that more than 30 parties are collaborating in organising the event which reflects its importance for Bahrain.
The main Ironman event tomorrow features a 1.9km swim near the Avenues Mall and 90km cycling through historic and tourist sites of Bahrain. It will conclude with a 21.1km run.
“The Middle East Ironman 70.3 Championship has grown in stature to become one of the flagship ironman events worldwide and is attended by participants from all over the world,” said Batelco general manager for Corporate Communications and CSR Shaikh Bader Al Khalifa.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Jamsheer, Gulf Air’s executive director for Marketing and Digital Operations, affirmed the importance of Bahrain hosting such championships.
Athletes from 89 countries will be participating in tomorrow’s events and the flags of these nations will be displayed at the venue.