Ironman 70.3 attracts more than 1,200 athletes
The Jakarta Post
At least 16 world-class and 1,200 amateur athletes from 42 countries have signed up for the 3rd Ironman 70.3 on Bintan Island slated on Aug. 20.
Last year’s event reportedly made Indonesia recognized as the third most suitable country for organizing such an event after Germany and France.
“Ironman Indonesia is third out of 80 Ironman events held all across the world. Medan and Bintan are both an ideal and challenging places. Their forest, lagoon, beaches and local houses offer both challenges and breathtaking scenery for participants,” said Tourism Ministry’s deputy minister for Overseas Promotion I Gde Pitana.
The participants are aiming to get the 30 slots available for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa.
“Our target until August is to attract up to 1,400 participants. Foreign tourists who have already signed up are mostly from Singapore, Philippines, Australia and Japan. They are competing to get points in order to be qualified for the race in South Africa,” said Bintan Tourism Agency head Luki Zaiman Prawira.
“The number of foreign tourists who came here in 2016 were 2,004,000; contributed up to 17 percent to the overall number of foreign tourists who visited Indonesia,” Luki added.
In 2016, the cycling, swimming and running routes in Bintan were nominated for the best long course in Asia by triathlon website AsiaTri.
This year’s event will start early in the morning with a 1.9-kilometer swim at Plaza Lagoi, Bintan Resort. The athletes will then take a 90 km (one lap) cycle route through the island. The race will later end with a two-lap of 21 km running track.
“Sports tourism has a high media value; it has a 10 percent direct impact and 90 percent media value,” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya. (kes)
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