The debut junior event saw over 250 youngsters make a splash on the Abu Dhabi Corniche today
Abu Dhabi, UAE. Friday, 6 March 2015: Today (Friday 6 March) over 250 multisport stars took their marks on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche to compete in one of the largest and most exciting junior sporting events in the region – The Aquathlon. The event kicks off what is set to be the biggest triathlon weekend in Abu Dhabi’s history with the IPIC World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, featuring the world’s greatest triathletes, starting tomorrow (Saturday 7 March).
The Aquathlon was raced in three formats - ‘Tiny Triathlete’ for the Under-8 age group where participants completed a 50m swim and a 100m run. The ‘Junior’ distance was a 200m swim and a 1.5km run for youngsters between 8-15 years old and the ‘Super Sprint’ featured a 375m swim and a 2.5km run aimed at 11-17 year olds.
Seventeen-year-old Abdulla Attiya from AMA International School won the Under-18 Super Sprint distance and was delighted to have completed it in just 00:14:14 and said: “The race was a fight at the end and then on the run it was crazy. Toby, who was close behind, is a really amazing runner; I gave everything I got to beat him and it wasn’t easy.”
“This is my first time racing in Abu Dhabi and it has been a fantastic experience so far. Now that I am done with today’s race my focus is on performing just as well in tomorrow’s Sprint race,” added Attiya who has flown in with the Bahrain National Team this weekend to compete in both The Aquathlon and the IPIC World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.
Joining Abdulla is thirteen-year-old Jasmin Grey, from the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, who secured the first place female finish and said: “What an extraordinary course! It was a great feeling racing on the same course that the world’s best triathletes will be racing on in tomorrow. I really enjoyed the swim and the run! It was a little challenging but I got there in the end.”
Event organisers are delighted with the success of The Aquathlon and the number of participants and spectators that came down to the Abu Dhabi Corniche today. “The motivation and determination on the faces of youngsters crossing the finish line was magical. We are glad we could offer UAE’s youth the chance to compete right here in Abu Dhabi on the same power packed course that will be contested by Olympic and World Champions. To witness hundreds of participants and spectators really enjoy themselves out on the beach in this lovely weather today is very encouraging and we hope to continue supporting the growth of the sport at a grassroots level,” said Local Organising Director, Iain Banner.
For those wanting to cheer on their friends, family and compatriots the Fans’ Village, located next to the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, is scheduled to open today (Saturday 7 March) from 07:00 to 18:00. The free for all village will include entertainment for adults and children alike including a wide array of food and beverage outlets.
The race will be broadcast live on Saturday on Abu Dhabi Sports TV and a live web stream on www.triathlonlive.tv. The first wave of age group athletes will start after sunrise at 06:40 and elites start at 15:00. Free parking is available opposite the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club on Friday and Saturday.