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Challenge Walchsee to host the 2016 ETU European Half Distance Championships

Posted on: Thursday 12th February 2015

Following many years of cooperation between the European Triathlon Union (ETU) and Challenge Family, in 2016 the official European Half Distance Triathlon Championships (1.9km swim – 90km bike – 21.1km run) will be held in Austria for the first time on 21 August.

Challenge Family CEO Zibi Szlufcik said he was delighted by the selection of the Tyrolean tourist region as venue for the European Championships.

“Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl has for several years now stood out for its brilliant organization down to the last detail and its breathtaking course through the incredibly beautiful Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl triathlon region. The joint decision by the ÖTRV, ETU and Challenge Family to hold the 2016 ETU European Championships there is a natural consequence of many years of experience and untiring focus on the athletes. I am glad to be able to continue the extremely successful cooperation with the ETU in 2016 at Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl,” he said. Already in autumn 2014, the ÖTRV committee, after productive first talks, had given its consent for this big event. Approximately 2,000 athletes are expected, headed by a big Austrian delegation. “We are happy to have high-calibre international championships in our country also in 2016. We aim at motivating many Austrians for this event to use this home event in the Tyrol for athletic achievements”, said ÖTRV president Walter Zetting and the Tyrolean triathlon president Julius Skamen, who are looking forward to the title matches on home ground.

As well as the Elite European Championships for women and men, the Age Group European Championships for Woman and Men will also take place, along with paratriathletes and numerous supporting events will also take place within the scope of the European Championships.

The selection as the venue for the European Championships is important for the Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl region. “With the selection as venue for the 2016 European Championships the organizers of the Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl have landed a coup. As mayor of Walchsee I am of course proud that this international triathlon in the Kaiserwinkl with the start and finish area in our municipality gains even more importance by being the 2016 official ETU European Championships. This reinforces our reputation as internationally approved triathlon venue”, announced the mayor of Walchsee, Dieter Wittliger.

Athletes can get a test run on the championships course at this year’s Challenge Walchsee on 23 August run alongside more than 1,000 starters, as well as compete for qualification slots for the upcoming European Championships.

ETU President, Renato Bertrandi, himself a formidable long-distance athlete, is pleased to see the growth of participation over long-distance within the region. “We have seen clear indications that our athletes, both Elite, Para and Age-Group, like the test of a longer distance race. With previous events being held successfully and with the ‘going-long’ appetite not diminishing, I am very pleased to see that the Middle-Distance Championships will be heading to Tyrol, which is a place of outstanding beauty. I also like the idea that athletes can go and test the course this year in the open race.”

The chairman of the Kaiserwinkl tourist board, Gerd Erharter, joined the well-wishers immediately after the decision was announced. “We are delighted that the already popular and renowned Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl can now even enhance its prestige by hosting the 2016 European Championships. This is a token of esteem for years of excellent work and the extraordinary quality standard of this event,” he said.

The European Championships are organized by the AGO-Sports GmbH with Andreas Klingler an experienced organizer heading the European Championships project. This year Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl is organized by Klingler and his team for the sixth time and annually the quality and the quantity of the event are improved. “We are pleased that the CHALLENGE Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl was selected by the ETU to hold the 2016 European Middle Distance Championships. We can guarantee our athletes a perfect organization, a dreamlike backdrop and a demanding and fair course. Having already welcomed triathlon top stars in the last years, we are looking forward to welcoming the European elite and to hosting an exciting race among the pros as well as the many age group athletes,” said Klingler.

Information and entries on the CHALLENGE Walchsee-Kaiserwinkl 2015 are available at www.challenge-walchsee.at.


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