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Ironman World Championship looks to 40 year anniversary
As the New Year approaches, the sport of Ironman Triathlon is preparing to mark its 40th anniversary.
On 18th February 1978 on the shores of the Hawaiian (USA) island of Oahu, 12 amateur athletes swam, cycled and ran a 226 kilometre course in a single day sporting competition - a feat that had never before been accomplished.
The achievement of these athletes heralded similar contests across the planet, managed by the World Triathlon Corporation, as well as the launch of a lifestyle sport and highly recognisable brand.
Today there are over three dozen Ironman Triathlon races throughout the world that enable qualification for the Ironman World Championships. Professional athletes qualify for the championship through a point ranking system, where points are earned based on their final placement in Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events. The top 50 male and top 35 female professionals in points qualify for the championship. Amateur athletes qualify for the championship by receiving slots allocated to each age group's top finishers in a qualifying event.
Australia’s first Ironman event was established in Port Macquarie, NSW in 1985.
The growth of the brand saw the World Triathlon Corporation being purchased by Chinese entertainment and real estate company the Dalian Wanda Group for a reported US$650 million in 2015.
Ironman events are not to be confused with the Australian IronMan and IronWoman Series, a property of Surf Life Saving Australia and backed by Kellogg Australian since the 1980s.
Principal Australasian Ironman events in 2018.
• IRONMAN New Zealand, Taupo - 3rd March 2018
• IRONMAN Australia, Oceania TriClub Championship - 6th May 2018
• IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship, Cairns - 10th June 2018
• IRONMAN Western Australia, Busselton - 2nd December 2018
Image: Competitors at the start of the swim leg of the 2014 Ironman Australia event in Port Macquarie.
6th October 2016 - IRONMAN ASIA-PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS A WINNER FOR CAIRNS
1st June 2016 - QUEENSLAND LOOKS FOR RECOGNITION AS ‘ENDURANCE CAPITAL’
11th September 2015 - DALIAN WANDA BUYS IRONMAN TRIATHLON GROUP FOR US$650 MILLION
13th February 2015 - CHINA’S WANDA BUYS INFRONT SPORTS & MEDIA FOR US$1.2 BILLION
29th June 2009 - NUTRI-GRAIN AND BILLABONG MOST RECOGNISED SPORTS SPONSORS
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