Dubai: Ironman has announced that due to the lasting impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 editions of the Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship stand cancelled.
The Ironman World Championship will return to Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i on October 9, 2021, while the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will return on September 17 and 18, 2021 in St. George, Utah, United States.
A press release from the Tampa-based association has said that Ironman is working to secure Taupo, New Zealand as the host destination for the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact events around the world, both world championship events have seen a majority of their respective qualifying events postponed or unable to take place in 2020, impeding the ability to qualify athletes for the respective 2020 world championship events.
“It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to cancel the 2020 editions of the Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship. While we were hopeful that we could welcome our athletes, their families, and supporters to these events in early 2021, the continued impact of the pandemic makes this impossible. It is tough to make this decision in July, but it will provide the necessary clarity for our athletes, host cities and partners,” Andrew Messick, President and Chief Executive Officer for The Ironman Group, said.
“It is disappointing not to be able to provide our racing community with the opportunity to compete in the Ironman World Championship for the first time in our 43-year history and our Ironman 70.3 World Championship for the first time since inception in 2006. We will endure, however, and look forward to the day when we will again assemble the greatest professional and age-group triathletes in the world and crown world champions,” he added.
Athletes who qualified for the 2020 editions of the Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship events will be contacted directly. They will have the opportunity to race in the 2021 or 2022 editions of the respective World Championships.
Earlier in June, Ironman had announced a new Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifying method for athletes. The Hoka One One Ironman Virtual Racing Championship Series is a four-weekend long regulated age-group competition designed to reward top-performing athletes with Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifying slots.
Athletes who earned qualifying slots, via that Championship Series, will now receive slots to the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship taking place in St. George, Utah, United States on September 17-18, 2021.