Abu Dhabi: The ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2022, it was confirmed at the ITU annual congress in Australia last week. Over 5,000 international and 2,500 local triathletes will take part in the five-day festival.

The Grand Final marks the end of the global triathlon season and crowns champions across elite and amateur divisions.

Abu Dhabi has already hosted a triathlon since 2010, which in 2015 became the opening race of the ITU World Triathlon season. The fifth edition as a season-opener will take place in Yas Marina on March 8-9, of next year.

Within this time, amateur participation has grown 56 per cent from 1,600 amateur participants in 2015 to 2,500 last year, making it the largest triathlon in the region. This latest development bolsters Abu Dhabi’s status as a regional capital for triathlon.

Mohammad Khalfan Al Rumaithi, chairman of the General Authority for Sports and deputy chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “We are thankful to the sport’s governing body, and participating nations, for the faith they have shown in us to stage the 2022 ITU Grand Final in Abu Dhabi.

“On our part, we will leave no stone unturned to make this event a most memorable one for the athletes and fans, which has always been our intention as one of the leading venues in the world for international sporting events.

“We will be hosting the fifth edition of the ITU World Triathlon in March and the success of the previous staging of this event has been one of the reasons for us to be successful in the bid to host the Grand Final.

“Needless to say Abu Dhabi is established at offering world class sporting facilities and hosting world class events. But we are very happy to add another to this growing list of World class events.

“Triathlon is a sport we want to promote among the country’s youth and staging the Grand Final will definitely help.

“We want to create an awareness of the sport and encourage our youth as well as to encourage participation from all communities in the country.”