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Xiamen's scenic seaside slog

(China Daily) Updated:2017-10-13

Beauty and brawn will combine as the scenic southeastern city of Xiamen plays host to elite triathlon series IRONMAN 70.3 on Nov 12.

Thousands of professional and amateur athletes will descend on the coastal city in Fujian province, known as the 'Garden of the Sea', including former Ironman Triathlon champion Sarah Piampiano, who was runner-up when Xiamen first hosted the race in 2016.

The American will be aiming for a second triumph in China this year after taking gold in the IRONMAN 70.3 in Qujing, Yunnan province, in August.

Last year's champions in Xiamen were Australian Josh Amberger and US-based Jeanni Seymour of South Africa.

Presented by Xiamen Municipal People's Government and Wanda Sports, the second edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 Xiamen triathlon is the final event of the 2017 IRONMAN China Tour.

Competitors will traverse the same scenic course used in 2016, starting with a point-to-point 1.2-mile ocean swim. The seaside vistas will continue along a two-lap, 56-mile bike course.

On the final leg, spectators will be able to get close to the action on the three-lap, 13.1-mile flat run to the finish line.

"Last year, the beautiful race track of our city became a precious memory for the athletes," said Wu Weiping, deputy secretary general of Xiamen Municipal People's Government.

"This year, Xiamen Municipal People's Government will continuously support the triathlon and make it a new international calling card of the city."

Jeff Edwards, general manager of operations for IRONMAN in China, is equally enthused.

"Xiamen is an international sports destination with ease of access and tremendous city support," he said.

"The seaside setting and experienced volunteers make the race a worthwhile goal on any athlete's list."

Scenery aside, the Xiamen race offers a route into other major competitions, with qualification spots up for grabs for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, as well as the full IRONMAN World Championship.

"This is the second year that Wanda is bringing IRONMAN to China," said Yang Dong, deputy CEO of Wanda Sports.

"As lots of sports fans noticed, more and more people in China are joining the triathlon which is a booming sport in our country - and will continue to grow.

"IRONMAN has been playing a significant role in promoting triathlon in China over the past year.

"In order to thank the trust and support of the athletes, the IROMAN 70.3 Xiamen triathlon will offer 30 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship and 50 qualifying slots for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship."

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