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The IRONMAN Group Announces Klagenfurt, Austria And Lahti, Finland As Finalists to Host 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Triathlon

February 19, 2020

Global rotation brings event back to the Europe in 2022 with over 6,000 athletes from around the world expected to compete over two days of world class competition

LAHTI, Finland / KLAGENFURT, Austria / TAMPA, Fla. (February 19, 2020) – The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), announced today that Klagenfurt, Austria and Lahti, Finland have been named finalists to host the 2022 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship triathlon, which will rotate back to Europe after last playing host to the event in 2019. The 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event, a format that was first adopted in 2017 when the event was held in Chattanooga – with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.

“The evolution of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been considerable and as we return to Europe in 2022, we have two locations in Lahti, Finland and Klagenfurt, Austria that have shown they deserve this opportunity to host the world’s best,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “Not only do these cities have the ability to provide our athletes extraordinary race experiences, venues and local culture, they are sure to attract athlete’s family and friends from around the world. Just as the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship showcases world-class competition, it is important that we continue to select venues from around the globe that meet the standards these top performers deserve. We look forward to the final process playing out as we determine who will be selected as the host city for the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon.”

The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began in Clearwater, Florida in 2006 and since that time, has toured incredible destinations around the world with stops in Henderson, Nevada (2011-13); Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (2014); Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria (2015); Queensland, Australia (2016); Chattanooga, Tennessee (2017); Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (2018); and Nice, France (2019). This year, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will move to Taupō, New Zealand who has been playing host to IRONMAN events for 20 years. In 2021, the event will rotate back to the U.S. where St. George, Utah will host the two-day championship event.

“We are thrilled to welcome the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship back on European soil in 2022,” said Stefan Petschnig, Managing Director of EMEA for The IRONMAN Group. “Both, Lahti and Klagenfurt would be deserving of a World Championship event. They have shown outstanding commitment to host this unique two-day race and I would like to congratulate all involved on their respective bids and the high-quality events they have provided athletes both past and present.”

These two world-class cities have a great deal to offer athletes and spectators alike in their bid for 2022. Here is a look at each host city finalist in more detail.

  • Klagenfurt, Austria – Located on the eastern shore of Lake Wörthersee in the southern Austrian province of Carinthia, Klagenfurt has been a staple on the IRONMAN calendar since 1999. Playing host city to the very popular IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten, Klagenfurt lures athletes with its picturesque backdrops between Lake Wörthersee and the Southern Alps. For over 20 years, Klagenfurt has proven to be one of the most beautiful races in the world, also providing a fast and legendary course. With a swim in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wörthersee, athletes exit to the Lendkanal, where athletes are greeted by massive crowds lining the shores. The bike course leads athletes along Lake Wörthersee to Lake Faaker See and via Rosental Valley with its view at the South Alps back to Klagenfurt. The race finishes with athletes running through Klagenfurt’s old town, providing athletes a chance to experience Klagenfurt’s unique cauldron-like finish line. Klagenfurt stands for Alps-Adriatic culinary experiences, quality of life between the old town and the lake, and a sport and active lifestyle.

“IRONMAN Austria has been successfully held in Klagenfurt for more than twenty years. The event has an excellent international reputation. The people of Klagenfurt are triathlon fanatics and ensure a fantastic atmosphere along the race route, supporting the athletes all the way to the finish line,” said Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz, Mayor of Klagenfurt. “This unique atmosphere, the perfect conditions, and an internationally successful organising team make Klagenfurt the perfect event location for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2022.”

  • Lahti, Finland – Situated in Southern Finland, Lahti is the gateway to Finnish Lake District and located less than an hour from Helsinki. This innovative community currently hosts the Nokian Tyres IRONMAN 70.3 Finland triathlon, which in just two years has become a favorite on the European IRONMAN 70.3 calendar. Lahti offers visitors the opportunity to experience national landscapes in the Päijänne National Park. Once visitors arrive in Lahti, everything is within walkable distance, including the city’s transport hub, restaurants, shopping and hotels. Sibelius Hall, where the finish line is located, is one of the world’s largest public wooden buildings built in Finland in the last 100 years. The course has historically begun in the beautiful Lake Vesijärvi, adjacent to Sibelius hall. Athletes then embark on a bike course that leads athletes through forests along lakes and across rolling hills surrounded by typical Finnish villages and followed by a flat and fast run course that leads athletes along the lakeside.

“The City of Lahti is known as an organiser of international big sports events. Although this reputation has mainly been gained through winter events, Nokian Tyres IRONMAN 70.3 Finland, organised twice in Lahti, has shown that Lahti is a full-blooded triathlon city,” said City of Lahti Mayer Pekka Timonen. “The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships 2022 in Lahti would be a great thing for Finland, for the city of Lahti as the European Green Capital 2021 as well as for the local and global triathlon culture in Scandinavia and northern Europe.”

Athletes can compete at these finalist venues in advance of having an opportunity to qualify for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship as general registration for the 2020 event in Lahti, is open now while limited entries through travel partner Nirvana are available for the 2020 IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten. The Nokian Tyres IRONMAN 70.3 Finland triathlon takes place on Saturday, June 27, 2020 with further details available at www.ironman.com/im703-finland. IRONMAN Austria-Kärnten is scheduled for Sunday, July 5, 2020 with details available at www.ironman.com/im-austria. Both events will also take place in 2021 and 2022 prior to the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship giving athletes additional opportunities to compete on world championship-caliber courses.

For the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, IRONMAN expects approximately 250,000 registered athletes from around the world to compete at any of the more than 120 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series in locations such as New Zealand, Slovenia, Germany, Argentina, and Philippines to earn a coveted slot. In addition, each age-group champion at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah will automatically qualify for the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

For more information about the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, please visit www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship. For more information on IRONMAN and the series of events and to register for open events, visit www.ironman.com For media related inquiries, please email [email protected].

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About Klagenfurt

Klagenfurt is nestled between the shores of the turquoise blue Wörthersee and one of the most beautiful Renaissance old towns in Austria. The southernmost provincial capital of the Alpine Republic is only a few minutes’ drive from Italy and Slovenia – and you can sense this in the attitude to life: a sporty lifestyle meets southern serenity. Klagenfurt is the event stage of Carinthia – most major international events take place here. Klagenfurt is looking forward to your visit: www.visitklagenfurt.at

About Visit Lahti – Tourism, Meeting & Event and Lahti Sports Hub

Visit Lahti – Tourism, Meeting & Event is the community´s official destination management company. It provides all the tourist services from accommodation to guided package tours and activities. The city of Lahti is a unique all year round sports´s hub consisting of two olympic training centres, world class nordic ski and motorsports venues. Lahti is the leading area for junior sports; including athletics, swimming, sailing, soccer and cycling. The main target is to offer and develop services for both local residents, tourists and top athletes participating in major events. Annually in the Lahti Sports hub there are over 3 million visitors. Lahti is the European Green Capital 2021 elected by the European Commission. https://visitlahti.fi/en/professionals/meeting-event-organizer

https://visitlahti.fi/en

About the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship

In 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity, moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. In 2016, the race moved from the mountains of Austria to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the race returned to the United States, taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee where it became a two-day event for the first time. In 2018, the event reached the African continent for the first time and was hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa. Continuing the rotation, 2019 saw the French Riviera and Nice, France play host to the ever-growing championship event. More than 200,000 athletes participate annually in a series of qualifying races, consisting of over 100 events in locations such as Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, North America, South Africa and Switzerland. Hosting approximately 6,000 athletes from around the world, participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship have ranged in age from 18 to 85-plus. In 2020, the event moves to Taupō, New Zealand where there is a long and storied IRONMAN history that spans 20 years before reaching the Red Rocks of St. George, Utah in the United States in 2021.

About The IRONMAN Group

As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Group

Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.

Local Communication Contacts

City of Lahti
Pekka Timonen
Mayor of Lahti
tel. +358 50 337 4386
[email protected]

Tourismus Region Klagenfurt am Wörthersee GmbH
Helmuth Micheler
+43 (0) 676/44 14 674
[email protected]

The IRONMAN Group Global Media Contacts
Dan Berglund
Global Director, Communications
[email protected]

Stefan Jaeger
Director Communications and Content – EMEA Lead
[email protected]

Colby Gorniewicz
Director, Communications – North America Lead
[email protected]

Craig Heydon
Communications and Media Director – Oceania Lead
[email protected]

Pei Xuan Sng
Marketing, Director – Asia Lead
[email protected]