The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

Super League Triathlon to return to Malta next month

Albert Galea Friday, 13 September 2019, 17:54 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Super League Triathlon will be returning to Malta between 19 and 20 October, with Olympic medalists and world champions landing in the country to compete in the races and to partake in an outreach program promoting sports.

Speaking at the launch event in London, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said that the event would ensure that the backdrop of Valletta is shared across the globe, while also bringing over elite athletes who will be able to convey the message of dedication, hard work, and a healthy lifestyle to youths.

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Mizzi noted with satisfaction the reach that the Super League Triathlon will bring to Malta, with the country’s stunning Grand Harbour backdrop being broadcasted through 104 TV stations with a reach of 1.2 billion people across the globe.

He said that this ties into Malta’s shift from a leisure destination to a more mixed destination which has something for everyone, while also noting that the organiser’s efforts to be as eco-friendly as possible also ties into what Malta is trying to do.

In fact, the organisers have taken steps for the event to be as environmentally friendly as possible, with medals being made out of recycled plastic and cable ties being completely eradicated from the circuit.

Super League Triathlon Chief Executive Officer, Michael D’Hulst said that the idea behind the event was to widen triathlon to be more than just a participation sport, but to be a participation and spectator sport.

Speaking to this newsroom, D’Hulst said that the outreach element is an integral part of the event as well, with events in schools, triathlon clubs, and running clubs amongst other to try and draw more people to the sport. 

“I believe that if I am meeting a world champion or an Olympic gold medalist and see that he’s actually normal, then as a kid I would think that I can be like him – we want to inspire youth”, he said.

The Super League Triathlon first came to Malta last year, when it was held around Cottonera, with French triathlete Vincent Luis winning the Equalizer and South African Richard Murray emerging victorious from the Eliminator.  American triathlete Katie Zafares won both female races in her march to winning the 2018/19 Super League Triathlon season.

This centerpiece for this year’s event will remain the professional races involving elite, professional triathletes, but will also see the introduction of Youth and Junior racing, as well as the Age Group Aquathlons, Regattas, Fun Runs, Corporate Team Enduros races, while also retaining the element of outreach that it had in past years, when athletes visited schools in Birgu and Bormla.

D’Hulst said that some 60 professional athletes will participate in the races, while many more athletes will come from countries around Europe to race in other categories; some 80 athletes will come from European federations while another 200 to 300 athletes will fly in from other parts of the globe to take part.  He noted that another 300 to 400 locals are also expected to take part.

Asked whether anyone could take part, he said that anyone can indeed take part in the normal races and encouraged more people to participate.

Amongst those in attendance in London were 2012 Olympic triathlon silver medalist Jonathan Brownlee and ETU Triathlon European Championships winner Sophie Coldwell.

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