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Swansea set to host more world-class sport next summer

Action from the Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea and IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea. Pics: Swansea Council

It will see thousands of athletes, supporters and spectators enjoy the 2023 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea (15 July) and IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea (16 July).

The inaugural events ran back-to-back this year in early August and were hailed by many as a huge success.

Next year’s events will be held on the weekend of July 15-16, before the school summer holidays start – and will kick-start the area’s peak tourism period.

As with 2022, the weekend will follow a week-long Disability Sport Wales Para Sport Festival with accessible participation opportunities in activities such as swimming, cycling and running.

The World Triathlon Para Series race will take place within the qualifying window for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, providing British athletes with a key opportunity to earn valuable qualification points on home soil.

This year’s event was the first of its kind to be hosted in Britain and saw home athletes Claire Cashmore and Dave Ellis, guided by Luke Pollard, take gold in their respective classifications.

The World Triathlon Para Series event also provided over 100 volunteering roles as well as accessible participation opportunities in swim, bike, run through a GO TRI Aquathlon (swim, run) and British Triathlon Para Super Series.

Swansea Council is working with event organisers British Triathlon and IRONMAN to ensure that local people, communities and businesses can plan for, enjoy and benefit from the events.

Other partners include UK Sport, Welsh Government and Welsh Triathlon.

The 2023 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea was announced today (note: Sep 27) and IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea entries opened today.

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “We’re delighted that these events will return once again in 2023.

“This unique week will provide opportunities for – and feature competitors with – a wide range of abilities right up to world-class level.

“Its first staging this year was a great success for athletes, supporters, local businesses and residents. It saw Olympic, Paralympic, World and Commonwealth champions all racing in Swansea.

“It reinforced the city’s reputation as a welcoming, diverse sporting city, capable of hosting major events.

“We’ll continue to work with the event organisers to ensure that local people and businesses have every chance to plan for and to enjoy next year’s Disability Sport Wales’ Para Sport Festival, World Triathlon Para Series Swansea and IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea.

“We’ve listened to local feedback and, as a result, these 2023 sports events will take place outside of the school holidays and, along with the Wales Airshow, will help deliver another great Swansea summer.

“We have a 10-month lead-in time to plan ahead for our world-class 2023 sports week which we want to rival the success story of Tenby’s well-established IRONMAN event which has done so much to put south west Wales on the map and provide a boost to businesses and tourism.

“We want to inspire local people to compete in sport and to enjoy it in other ways too.”

Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “Having organised Britain’s first standalone World Triathlon Para Series event earlier this year, I’m delighted that we can continue the momentum by announcing 15 July 2023 as the date for the next edition.

“Alongside the racing this year, we hosted the first International Para Triathlon Conference under the banner ‘to achieve para parity’, and that is very much our vision as we look to build on the success of 2022 by further enhancing the experience and delivery of paratriathlon events.

“Working with partners at UK Sport, Welsh Government, Swansea Council and Welsh Triathlon, we are excited to once again welcome paratriathletes from around the world to Britain.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea Race Director Rebecca Sutherland said: “Following the resounding success of the inaugural edition of IRONMAN 70.3 Swansea, we are delighted to be returning in 2023.

“Swansea has been a wonderful addition to our European race calendar, underlined by the overwhelming response of our athletes with the race selling out in its first year. Encouragingly, the first edition saw over 60% of athletes participate in their very first IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon.

“We’re grateful for the support shown for the event and are already planning towards delivering another world class experience for athletes, the community and to give them an event they can be proud to call their own.”