The Doha Triathlon, one of the most anticipated events on sports calendar, is expected to attract record participation when it will take place next month in the Qatari capital.
Triathlon is a sport where participants swim, then cycle, then run in a continuous race – quickly moving from one discipline to the next. This is a challenge growing in popularity in Qatar and this fourth edition is expecting to be bigger and better.
With races for children and youths part of the programme too, this is an event for all levels of ability and all the family. It is an individual sport but the Doha Triathlon also allows groups of friends to tackle one discipline each, competing for team relay awards.
In recent years, new triathlons have been launched in Qatar, reflecting the sport’s popularity, but the Doha Triathlon remains the most prestigious thanks to its city centre setting at the Museum of Islamic Art.
The swim takes place in the shadow of the iconic building itself; the cycling route extends along the Doha sea front (Corniche) to the ultra-modern West Bay business district, finishing with a run in the inspiring surroundings of MIA park.
This makes it among the world’s most scenic and the long-term ambition is to create a destination event attracting international competitors.
For Qatar’s seasoned triathletes it is the must-do race of the year, but many others; swimmers, cyclists, runners or fitness fanatics join them to give it a go.
For some, the Doha Triathlon will be a springboard into a new passion. This will be a priority event for Qatar’s best.
The Doha Triathlon features the ITU (International Triathlon Union) National Championships where the current number one ranked Qatari, Ebrahim Al Romaih will be seeking to unseat last year’s champion, Saad Almejali. Among the international talent, Bernard McCullogh (Ireland) who showed top form at the Dukhan Triathlon will be battling against Mouhcine Rhaili (Morocco) and Aday Alvarez (Spain).
Women’s triathlon in Qatar is currently dominated by former double Olympian cyclist, Pia Sundsted (Finland) ahead of Sophie Clarke (UK) and Andrea Stadler (Colombia).
The 2020 edition sees Qatar Triathlon Federation and the team behind other major events such as the Al Adaid Desert Challenge, Ride of Champions and the Qatar National Triathlon Series, taking over full organisation of the event.
Race Director, Slovenian Andrej Filip relishes the opportunity.
”I see the development of our organising team supported by members of local triathlon and cycling clubs as one of the greatest achievements of Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation,” said Filip. “Doha Triathlon is the main event of the now already well-established Qatar National Triathlon Series and a stepping stone for the big international events to come.”
QTF President, Dr. Mohammed Al Kuwari, also welcomes the involvement of the federation. “By bringing the race under QTF organisation, we can continue to offer an exceptional level of quality while growing a sport which offers opportunities for so many to discover and enjoy healthy competition. We thank the previous organisers, Tasama, for the past two years where we have seen The Doha Triathlon grow into one of Qatar’s foremost mass-participation sports events,” he said.
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