Major boost for sports tourism in Sri Lanka as Ironman triathlon brings 800 athletes and families to Colombo
Sports tourism in Sri Lanka gets a major boost tomorrow (Feb 22-25) when the Ironman 70.3 triathlon takes place in the capital Colombo, the first time in Sri Lanka and South Asian region.
Mirror Business spoke with directors Yasas Hewage, Rajan Thananayagam and Julian Bolling, to get the low-down on the event.
Said Yasas: The beauty about Ironman is that it’s not just a triathlon, its like a race vacation, so that’s why this is called proper sports tourism, so with every athlete their friends and family travels.
The estimation is an amount between 2,300-2,500 from around the world will be here including athletes and their families. This makes it the largest ever sports tourism event that has ever happened in this country.
Colombo is going to attract over 880 athletes from over 60 countries, ranging from India, UK, France, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Middle East, and Africa. It’s a massive amount of people coming from around the world.
Said Rajan: Through this event we are trying to make a difference to this country and its people, so we want to showcase Sri Lanka’s potential to the world, and we want to position Sri Lanka as the hub for sports tourism.
We want to make Sri Lanka the adventure country of Asia. The sport of triathlon is very new, and we have phenomenal talents locally, and we want to set a platform for these athletes to perform.
As a team, we are very passionate about supporting the national integration so we are having six teams, which are formed from athletes from North, East and South, consisting men and women—basically island-wide participation.
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