Sydney loses ITU world championship event to Auckland
Auckland will replace Sydney as a venue in the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Series in 2013.
After hosting the grand final of the series from 20th to 22nd Ocober, the New Zealand city has been confirmed as the first stop for next year's eight-race schedule, a role it looks likely to fill for the next four years.
Sydney has hosted a round of the series for the past two years but the race, last held in April this year, caused traffic problems in the city and the NSW Government opted not to back a bid for the event return.
ITU President Marisol Casado said it was important for the world series to feature an Oceania event, explaining that the Sydney event "was (at) the end of the contract."
Casado added that the ITU wanted to continue the Sydney event but negotiations became "quite complicated." and we are all the time searching ... for new places," she said.
He added "we were really lucky that we can replace (Sydney with) Auckland (as) it's so important to have this event in either Australia or New Zealand.
"Because of the good triathletes we have here, it's a fantastic place to start with the series."
Auckland ITU event organiser Dave Beeche, says the decision is great for triathlon in New Zealand, stating "it's fantastic for Auckland and New Zealand and we're really looking forward to rolling this on."
"We'd like to include a couple more iconic things around Auckland so we're taking a look at some options around the museum and a few other bits and pieces so just again keep lifting the bar, keep it innovative and make it a good challenge for them."
The end of Sydney's ITU event is seen as another blow for Australia in the sport's Olympic format.
Australia used to dominate ITU races, but the men have dropped off the pace badly with the end of year seeing no Australian competitor holding an elite world title or Olympic
Australia's problems in the Olympic format contrast with Ironman-distance triathlon racing, which it continues to dominate.
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