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WTCS Abu Dhabi, Para Cup and Mixed Relay CANCELLED due to adverse weather conditions

Huge blow for Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.

News Director
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All the races at the opening World Triathlon Championship Series event of 2024 in Abu Dhabi – featuring a host of Olympic and Paralympic favourites as well as age-group athletes – have been cancelled at short notice.

Just hours before the start of the elite women’s race – which contained the likes of world champion Beth Potter, Cassandre Beaugrand, Taylor Knibb and the returning Georgia Taylor-Brown – World Triathlon issued a shock statement.

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Organisers left with no choice

It read: “It is with regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2024 World Triathlon Championship Series, Para Cup and Mixed Relay Abu Dhabi, scheduled to take place on Friday, 8 March and Saturday, 9 March, due to severe adverse weather conditions.

“We do not, at any stage, wish to put our athletes in danger and the forecast adverse weather would have jeopardised the safety of the event. The safety of our athletes is of paramount importance and this decision has not been taken lightly.

“The decision, jointly made by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon, comes after the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority of Abu Dhabi announced that all activities outdoors from Friday, 8 March until Sunday, 10 March, are to be cancelled, due to severe rainfall and thunderstorms forecasted.

“The Local Organising Committee, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon have tried all possible avenues to host at least the events scheduled for Friday, March 8, in a secured and closed venue, but unfortunately this option was also not possible given the need of the region to get ready for the adverse weather circumstances.”

Last year saw British duo Beth Potter and Alex Yee win in Abu Dhabi.

What’s next?

Abu Dhabi was the first WTCS race of 2024 and an important step in the build – and qualification process – towards the Olympics and Paralympics in Paris later this year and in terms of the former it featured stacked start lists for both the women and men.

The qualification periods for both will see crucial opportunities for athletes to earn points before the cut-off dates: 27 May for the Olympic rankings and 1 July for the Paralympic rankings.

Abu Dhabi 2023 men bike leg track palm trees photo credit Tommy Zaferes World Triathlon
[Photo credit: Tommy Zaferes / World Triathlon]

Ironically WTCS Abu Dhabi had originally been scheduled to take place a week earlier in 2024.

It all means that the Olympics build up is now condensed into May, with the next WTCS race on the calendar in Yokohama on 11 May, followed by Cagliari on 25-26 May.

And similarly on the Mixed Team Relay front, which had been scheduled for Saturday, Abu Dhabi offered a rare opportunity.

Our Chief Correspondent John Levison had written beforehand about the key part WTCS Abu Dhabi was likely to play in the Paris 2024 qualification puzzle, which now becomes even trickier to negotiate.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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