Inge Prasetyo, the first Indonesian to qualify for Ironman World Championship Triathlon (Inge Prasetyo/File)
A total of 20 international athletes and 1,200 amateur athletes have been confirmed to take part in the IRONMAN 70.3, a long-distance triathlon race organized by the World Triathlon Corporation in Bintan. The event is slated for August 21.
According to a global survey by IRONMAN 70.3, Indonesia is recognized as the third most suitable country for organizing such event after Germany and France.
According to Bintan Regent H. Apri Sujadi, it is also one of the fastest growing IRONMAN 70.3 competitions in the world, the growth percentage is up to 60 percent since the first time the event was held in 2015.
“Last year  the satisfaction level among athletes for this competition reached 95 percent,” said Apri.
Moreover, Bintan is geographically strategic as it s only 45-minute away from Singapore and 60-minute away, by sea, from Malaysia.
“Proximity is important in holding an event, the more strategic the place is the higher the chance to attract more tourists,” Apri added.
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.
In 2016, the cycling, swimming and running routes in Bintan was crowned as the best long course in Asia by triathlon website AsiaTri. (asw)