Ironman breaking into central Asia with 2018 event in Kazakhstan
Ironman, the long-distance triathlon brand owned by China’s Wanda Group, is to hold its first race in central Asia next year when it stages a new event in Astana in Kazakhstan.
The Ironman 70.3 Astana will take place on 18 June 2018.
The athletes will begin the race with a 1.9 km swim in the Ishim River followed by a 90.1 km cycle ride through the Astana government district, which includes views of the Kazakhstan president’s palace and the country’s parliament.
The race will then finish with a 21.1 km run at the Astana Triathlon Park.
Hans-Peter Zurbruegg, managing director of Ironman Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Our first event in Central Asia will allow us to bring the Ironman experience to a new country and a new region and we are looking forward to working with a highly skilled and experience team in Astana.”
In 2015, Wanda acquired a 100-per-cent stake in World Triathlon Corporation, owner of the Ironman brand, in a $650-million deal, following on from its €1.05-billion ($1.14-billion) takeover of the Infront Sports & Media agency.
Last year, Ironman acquired the endurance division of Lagardère Sports, the sports arm of the France-based media conglomerate.
Wanda operates a number of running races worldwide, including the Singapore Marathon, the Auckland Marathon and Marathon Bordeaux, and in April it sealed a 10-year partnership with the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which consists of the well-known marathons in Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.