The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has confirmed the 2016 ITU World Triathlon Series calendar. In its eighth season, the World Triathlon Series will feature at least eight stops, with two cities debuting for the first time.

The WTS will again get underway in Abu Dhabi after successfully kicking off the series this year before turning towards Oceania to the Gold Coast. Having returned this season after a five-year hiatus, the Australian coastal city will also organize the 2018 Grand Final.

Longtime host Yokohama returns as the third leg of the series and will be the final opportunity for athletes to score Olympic qualifying points ahead of Rio.

The circuit then touches down in Europe for the debut of Leeds as a WTS event. The hometown of Olympic medalists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Leeds marks the first of three stops in Europe, followed by Stockholm and Hamburg.

Leeds United
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said “As could be seen from watching the coverage of the races in London recently, there is already a real excitement about the World Triathlon Series coming to Leeds next year so we cannot wait for June 2016 to come around.”

She continued, “As our leading Leeds-based triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, Non Stanford and Vicky Holland have all said, there is a huge appetite for watching world-class sport in our city and the Yorkshire region, and like the Tour de France this event will be something everyone can get involved with, watch and support.

“Lots of ideas are already coming in for the supporting cultural program, while the chance to volunteer or take part in the mass-participation races mean there will be something for everyone, so this is shaping up to be another fantastic event to showcase our city and region to the watching world.”

Mixed relay
The only city on the calendar to have hosted a WTS race each year since its inception in 2009, Hamburg will also organize the Mixed Relay World Championship in addition to the elite individual races.

Following the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, the tour will return to action in Edmonton, Canada, which served as the Grand Final host in 2014.

Cozumel, Mexico, a familiar ITU World Cup organizer, will join the World Triathlon Series for the first time next year as the site of the 2016 Grand Final, which will include Aquathlon, Age Group, Junior, and Under 23 World Championships as well as the final races that crown the elite men’s and women’s World Champion.

ITU World Triathlon Series logo

2016 ITU World Triathlon Series calendar:

  • Abu Dhabi, UAE – March 4-5
  • Gold Coast, Australia – April, weekend dates TBC
  • Yokohama, Japan – May 14-15
  • Leeds, England – June 11-12
  • Stockholm, Sweden – July 2-3
  • Hamburg, Germany – July 16-17
  • Edmonton, Canada – TBC
  • Cozumel, Mexico – September 11-18

Distances for each race will be confirmed at a later date, and one final event could be added either prior to or after the Olympic qualification cut-off in May, which could slightly alter the current schedule and race dates.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of triathlon and all related multisport disciplines including Duathlon, Aquathlon, Cross Triathlon and Winter Triathlon. ITU was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France. It has maintained its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada since then and also has offices in Lausanne, Switzerland and Madrid, Spain.

It now has over 160 affiliated National Federations on five continents and is the youngest International Federation in the Olympic Games. Triathlon was awarded Olympic Games status in 1994 and made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000. Triathlon is also featured in the Asian Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games.

Paratriathlon was accepted into the Paralympic Games in 2010 and will make its Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. ITU is committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high-performance level.