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Queensland secures IRONMAN Asia Pacific for Cairns

20 November 2015

Queensland has confirmed its status as Asia-Pacific’s home of triathlon by capturing one of the world’s most prestigious IRONMAN events from Melbourne.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, announced today that the state had secured the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns for the next three years.

Ms Jones met with the global chief of IRONMAN in Wuhan today while on a tourism mission in China, confirming the deal for Queensland. Melbourne had hosted the event since 2012.

“I am delighted the IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship will become an extension to the highly successful Cairns Airport Adventure Festival for the next three years,” she said.

“This is all part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to grow investment and create jobs in Far North Queensland.

“Queensland and Cairns have the perfect all-year climate for major triathlon and sporting events, with the IRONMAN Asia Pacific ironman expected to grow the economic impact of the Cairns Adventure Festival beyond the $10 million it generated earlier this year.”

Member for Cairns Rob Pyne said the IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship would strengthen Cairn’s reputation as an event city.

“The IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship will attract up to 3,000 participants, with around half of them from interstate or overseas,” Mr Pyne said.

“We expect to welcome participants from more than 50 countries.

“This will deliver a significant boost to our local economy as visitors come to compete and to experience the best destination on earth.”

Cairns joins Nelson Bay (South Africa), Texas (US), Florianopolis (Brazil), and Frankfurt (Germany) among the only five IRONMAN Asia Pacific Regional Championships globally.

Queensland currently hosts the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, which next year hosts the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships; the Gold Coast ITU World Triathlon Series (2015-17) and Grand Final and World Championships (2018); the Gold Coast Triathlon – Luke Harrop Memorial; the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival; Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival; and the Noosa Ultimate Sports Festival.

Ms Jones said the IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship Cairns would incorporate the inaugural Asian Cup.

“This international competition will drive even greater growth in participation from Asia,” she said.

“A strong representation in the Asian Cup competition is expected from Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia in Cairns.”

Some of the world’s elite competitors are tipped to attend the event given its status as a regional event and the most qualifying places for the World IRONMAN Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

The IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship is one of five IRONMAN Regional Championship races globally, as one of the pinnacle events of the series.

“Announcing Cairns as the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship venue for the next three years from 2016 enhances Queensland’s reputation as the home of triathlon in Australia,” IRONMAN Asia Pacific CEO Geoff Meyer said.

“Cairns is a first-class city, fully qualified and well-equipped to deliver an exceptional event, and we look forward to providing our athletes with an unforgettable championship race experience.”

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the city was looking forward to the additional influx of visitors and athletes for the Championship.

“Cairns is a leading destination for the Asia-Pacific so to be named as the host of the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship for the next three years is a perfect fit,” Mayor Manning said.

“Not only does it strengthen our reputation in the sport of triathlon, but it also showcases Cairns as the home of world class events.

“Cairns is proud to host this truly international sporting event and we are eager to showcase our region’s attractions and hospitality.”

The Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns will take place on 12 June 2016 as part of the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival from June 5-12, 2016.