(MENAFN - Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau will be the title sponsor of the So Sri Lanka IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon, which will be held at Galle Face Green, Colombo on February 24th 2019. The event is organized by Pro-Am Serendib for the second consecutive year, with the support of a number of public and private sector organizations.
The second edition of So Sri Lanka IRONMAN 70.3 Colombo, brought to you by Sri Lanka Tourism and Promotions Bureau which is under the purview of Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs will see over 700 athletes from 56 countries taking part in the event. The first edition of IRONMAN 70.3 took place last year with over 850 athletes from over 60 countries successfully participating in the event. The event showcased Sri Lanka as a viable destination for sports tourism, while also generating positive publicity for the nation.
Speaking about this year's event John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, Sri Lanka, said, "I'm happy to see Ironman 70.3 being held in Sri Lanka for the second consecutive year. I believe this event has now become a permanent fixture in the international sporting calendar. Going by the success of last year's event I'm sure there will be a greater number of athletes, accompanying family members and supporters who will be participating in this year's event. Sri Lanka Tourism is proud to be associated with this globally acclaimed event which has proved that Sri Lanka is ready to host world class sporting events. The successful organisation of this mega event shows how the private and public sectors could work together for the betterment of the tourism industry. The global publicity that this event would generate will be invaluable for the country.'
Speaking about their partnership in 2019 Kishu Gomes, Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism and Promotions Bureau, said, 'Following the success of last year's IRONMAN 70.3 event, it makes perfect sense to get involved in this year's edition as well. So Sri Lanka IRONMAN 70.3 will go a step further to showcase Sri Lanka as a perfect destination for sporting tourism as well as for leisure tourism. We have the infrastructure, we have the rooms, we have the resources that are needed to host international sporting events. We also know that by hosting events of this nature, we open the doors to a new and affluent audience. We look forward to a successful event this year as well.'
IRONMAN 70.3 is one of the most recognised brands in the world, attracting discerning affluent travellers from across the globe. The profile of the average IRONMAN participant is that 90% of them are professionals in numerous fields such as legal, retail, education, marketing, technology, medical, and financial. Last year, over 70% of the foreign athletes who participated in the event were first time visitors to the country and 40% decided to extend their visit and explore Sri Lanka as tourists.
The top six participating countries for So Sri Lanka IRONMAN 70.3 are India, UK, Australia, France, USA and Japan. Rajan Thananayagam, Event Director and Director Pro Am Serendib added, 'Organizing IRONMAN Colombo last year was a mammoth undertaking for Pro-Serendib. Thanks to the support we received from so many partners from both the public and private sectors, we were able to host an exhilarating and immensely successful event in Colombo. We are grateful to all who came on board once again to support this endeavour, and we are ready to provide an even more rewarding experience to all our participants this year.
Pro-Am Serendib successfully conducted a Tri Series during the past year in a bid to encourage more Sri Lankans to participate in triathlon events. Comprising of swimming, cycling and running, under a number of age categories, the Tri Series saw the participation of professional, amateur and differently-abled athletes, making it a truly inclusive event. Athletes who recorded the best overall performance at the Tri Series gained free entry to So Sri Lanka IRONMAN 70.3.
The race begins with a single-loop, 1.9km swim starting at the beach adjoining Galle Face Green, followed by a flat and fast 90km bike course and a 21.1 km run course that offers scenic country views and a fantastic finish in front of Galle Face Green. This year will see one of the IRONMAN greats Julie Moss take part in the So Sri Lanka IRONMAN 70.3 event, with the objective of encouraging more women to get into the sport; a morning session tilted 'sip and share with Julie Moss' will be held at the Kingsbury Hotel on Thursday, February 21st.