Tag Archive | "Spratly Islands"

China to host first Ironman 70.3 competition on disputed Spratly Islands in 2017

China to host first Ironman 70.3 competition on disputed Spratly Islands in 2017

Tags: , , ,


Following the buyout of World Triathlon Corp (WTC) by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, WTC, which organizes the Ironman series of triathlon races, announced that its inaugural race post-buyout will be held on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. It also announced that it will be rebranding all Ironmans held in Taiwan, under the IM China group of races.

“The airstrip built on Fiery reef will be perfect for run laps. We’ve also been assured that by 2017, enough land will be reclaimed on the Spratlys for a 30km bike loop,” said a WTC spokesperson Zuo Yun Dong.

The Chinese military is currently building a 3,000km airstrip atop Fiery reef for exercise.

The Chinese military is currently building a 3,000m airstrip atop Fiery reef for exercise.

According to WTC, the buyout of the Ironman series of races by a Chinese firm will not impact the safety of the Ironman 70.3 (consisting of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike ride, and a 21.1 km run). This however, has not stopped regular participants of the race from wondering if shoddy construction could impact the quality of the race infrastructure.

WTC has been assured that the land reclaimed on the Spratlys by 2017, will be large enough to host a 30km bike loop.

WTC has been assured that the land reclaimed on the Spratlys by 2017, will be large enough to host a 30km bike loop.

“What if the road suddenly caves in during the bike leg? What if there’s a chemical explosion? I hope the race organisers take all that into account,” said regular Ironman participant Ta Ka Chia. He added, “I’ll definitely take up insurance for my bike if I participate in this one.”

Another regular Ironman participant who plans to register is US naval officer Dave Smith, who also expressed deep concern about safety standards. He said “I think WTC should consider hiring a US-based safety auditor to recce the site before the race. Definitely think, especially, about things that could go wrong around the perimeter, and all that military equipment. No stone must be left uncovered.