HRH Prince Feisal welcomes President of International Triathlon Union
Amman, Jordan: Les McDonald, the President of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), has arrived in Amman to size up the Kingdoms capabilities for hosting a future round of the ITU World Cup.
During his four-day visit to Amman and Aqaba, McDonald will be meeting with HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, President of the Jordan Olympic Committee, as well as members of the newly formed Jordan Triathlon Union (JTU).
He will assist the JTU in their final preparations for this Fridays inaugural Aqaba Triathlon which is expected to attract over 100 entries, many of whom will be competing in a triathlon for the first time. The event starts at 5 pm.
Earlier this year, HRH Prince Feisal held discussions with the ITU to position Jordan as a candidate for hosting a leg of the ITU World Cup. This weekends visit by McDonald is seen as vital to progressing Jordans hopes.
HRH Prince Feisal is determined to use sport as a vehicle to promoting Jordan, with bids for other major events such as the FIA World Rally Championships currently ongoing.
The ITU has made it clear that it wants to raise the sports profile within West Asia, particularly as it will be held for the first time in the Asian Games in Doha 2006, said HRH Prince Feisal. Here in Jordan we believe it fits with our long-term plans for sport. Compared to most events, it is of relatively low cost to stage and it will secure global exposure for a host city.
Aqaba would be perfect for hosting an ITU World Cup event and we look forward to demonstrating our organizational capabilities this Friday.
Triathlons television distribution rights are owned by the BBC which dispatches a one-hour programme on each of the 14 ITU World Cup rounds to more than 150 broadcasters world wide.
Both triathlon and rallying showcase a countrys natural beauty to a potential television audience of one billion viewers which can have huge economic spin-offs for both business and tourism, said Prince Feisal.
The ITU views Jordan as a potential partner to raising the sports profile within the region as a whole, he said. This Fridays triathlon can go a long way to positioning Jordan as a safe and secure country to stage events of the highest caliber.
The ITU World Cup currently visits the worlds biggest countries including USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Japan, UK and China. It has never been held in the Middle East before- a similar scenario to the FIA World Rally Championships.
The event, which became an Olympic sport at Sydney 2000, consists of a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle ride and a 10km run. HRH Prince Feisal says a recruitment drive has begun to find Jordanian triathletes. The ITU has expressed its determination to support Jordan in every step of the way and will assist in identifying and training potential participants.
For more information, contact Jordan Olympic Committee Media Office on ++962-5671171