QNB ASIA TRIATHLON CUP, DOHA 2021 ELITE TRIATHLON RETURNS TO DOHA AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS
On 26th November, Qatar Triathlon Federation is set to host the first elite level triathlon race to be held in Qatar since the Asian Games in 2006.
As part of the Continental Cup Series, World Triathlon’s elite athletes are competing for a prize pot of 20,000 USD and to earn ranking points to compete in the Continental Championships.
53 competitors from 18 nations will come to Doha, with athletes representing countries as diverseas Colombia, Ireland and Taipei. The largest squads will come from Japan (14 athletes), Taipei (8 athletes), Qatar and the United Kingdom (each 5 athletes).
The stunning modern cityscape of Lusail Marina is the venue where athletes will compete over the Standard Distance: a 1500 meter swim around the Yacht Club, followed by 40 kilometers cycling, capped by a flat and fast 10 kilometer run around the waterfront, past the twin swords of the new and iconic Katara Towers.
Qatar will be represented by a national team who will be seeking to benchmark their development and gain experience at this higher level of competition. This will be their first elite racing and, while not expected to challenge for the podium, they will gain experience and raise Qatar’s profile on the World stage.
Ebrahim Al Romaihi, who currently leads the Qatari cohort in the Qatar National Triathlon Series, expressed the team’s excitement: “It feels great for Qatar to host such an amazing event – I can’t wait to dive in! I’m counting the seconds before the start.”
The best placed local competitor is likely to be Aday Alvarez, representing Spain. Aday was runnerup in the Qatar National Triathlon Series 2019-20 and has competed at a previous Continental Cup.
Qatar Triathlon Federation is also taking a step up; by running the competition without the assistance of any outside organiser but building on experience gained from the World Beach Games aquathlon and Qatar National Triathlon Series. In preparation, they have put 25 local triathlon
enthusiasts through World Triathlon’s Technical Official training, and they will be joined by five experienced overseas officials appointed by the governing body. The event has been seized as an opportunity to develop expertise in this fast-growing sport in Qatar.
After watching some top-flight competition, Triathlon fans have their own opportunity to take part in a public race the following day. This will cover the sprint distance; each discipline being half that of the Standard Distance race. Over 250 local and regional triathletes are expected to test themselves or simply set the goal of finishing their first triathlon.
This milestone event is possible thanks to the support of title sponsor QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa. Mr. Yousef Ali Darwish, General Manager of QNB Group Communications, said: “We are delighted to say that this iconic race will be one of the top sport activities in our agenda this year and we are delighted to be part of it, providing every possible support in welcoming the world’s triathlon champions to a unique sport experience in Doha.”
Dr Mohammed Al Kuwari, president of Qatar Triathlon Federation captures the mood of the organisers and triathlon public alike, saying: “We are very excited to host this event. The amazing venue of Lusail will provide a great environment for athletes to compete and enjoy modern Qatar. I welcome everyone and wish a great time for all.”
Qatar Triathlon Federation’s Secretary General, Mr Thani Al Zarraa, reflected not only on this milestone for the sport in Qatar but also the return of competitors from neighbouring countries: “It’s great to have international events back again after a long absence. This one is even more special as it has all the GCC participating in elite and age group. This will raise the level of competition.”
Fatima Al Ghanim, a board member of Qatar Triathlon Federation added:
“It is really important to bring international triathlon to Qatar. Not only does it showcase our facilities to the world, but it inspires us all to another level – our top athletes, our youth, the age group triathletes and, hopefully, many of the spectators will want to be on the start line next time.”
Dr, Nasser Saqer Al-Mohannadi, QTF Board Member with special responsibility for triathlon shared his vision: To host the Asia Cup here in Doha is another big step toward the development of sport in the country.
Looking back in time, this was discussed first during the 2018 Asian congress in Australia, where we asked to host an Asia cup as a step toward hosting even bigger events like one of World Championship series.
We place great importance on the meeting of the GCC Triathlon Federations that we host this week. In doing so, we follow up on cooperation between countries in term of events, sharing experiences and policies to map out sport in our region.
Qatar welcomes all those taking part and wish you find some time to enjoy Doha while competing in elite and age group races. We also wish all success to our national team and Qatar citizens and residents.
Asia Triathlon President, Mr. Justin Sukwon Park, thanked Qatar Triathlon Federation, also saying: “I am sure that Doha is one of the best venues to enjoy Triathlon and this race will be one of the biggest triathlon events in Asia. This is also important race for the athletes who have been dreaming
of becoming Asia champion at the Asian Games 2022 Hangzhou next year”
The QNB Asia Triathlon Cup, Doha 2021 is supported by event title sponsor QNB, event partners Qatari Diar, NTT, Rayyan Water, Sports Corner and Rasen Sports and institutional partner Qatar Olympic Committee.