With the first event kicking off in Singapore on 9th May, the Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon World Championship is fast approaching.
2009 sees big changes to the format of the Championship, the innovative changes will see the creation of a series as oppose to the one off event of previous years. The series will comprise of 8 events taking place across some of the most internationally renowned cities, where the world's top athletes will compete head to head in a bid to be crowned ITU Triathlon World Champion. The series will wrap up with the Grand Final in Australia's Gold Coast on 9th September where the overall ITU Triathlon World Champion will be decided.
The change to the format also brings much larger cash prizes, with the final bonus pool almost tripling that of previous years. Each event will feature a prize purse of $150,000 (all prizes in US dollars) with the Grand Final offering $250,000, the total combined prize pot at stake in the battle to become ITU's 2009 world champion is a record $2 million.
This new format for the Championship will bring massive exposure to the up and coming sport of Triathlon, televised coverage will provide a platform in which the sport can be viewed by millions. Using a similar model to that of F1 racing, where top athletes battle head to head throughout each stage in a bid to become overall champion, this change is a significant step forward in the history of the sport. The new format will bring mass participation for thousands of different age-group athletes with the ITU Age-Group, AWAD and Sprint World Championships all being staged at the Grand Final event along with Junior and Under 23 competitions. The Championship's format change will create a distinct sports product that will offer excellent opportunities for the athletes, sponsors, host cities and TV broadcasters involved. The Finnish manufacturer of precision sports instruments, Suunto as stocked by OutdoorGB, is one such sponsor.
Suunto, one of OutdoorGB's leading brands, have signed up to serve as the official timing and data partner for the duration of the 2009 ITU World Championship Series. The partnership with Suunto will provide a unique opportunity to integrate cutting-edge technology into the triathlon events and televised coverage. Suunto will collect high performance data from competing athletes which will then be delivered direct to TV screens across the globe. Collected data will include GPS, real-time speed and distance information and heart rate information. The usage of this data in TV programming will significantly enhance the television viewer's experience, offering a whole new level of interaction. Perhaps the greatest level of interaction is the fact the products used by the athletes are all from Suunto's T-Series range, which are available to purchase from OutdoorGB.
Products such as the Suunto T3c coupled with a Foot Pod provide the opportunity for the amateur athlete to emulate the athletes as seen on their TV screens. With fitness products like those from the Suunto T-Series readily available and the amount of TV exposure of Triathlon events, there is always a possibility that those watching on TV this summer could perhaps step up their game, improve their performance and see themselves competing in future ITU World Championship Triathlon events.
Throughout the ITU World Championship, OutdoorGB will be providing regular updates here.
2009 ITU Triathlon World Championship event diary: