The Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, took a stunning one-two in the debut of the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds while Gwen Jorgensen took the women’s title in one of the most competitive races in the ITU World Triathlon Series so far this season.
The elite athletes were roared home by a huge and passionate support in Leeds, with an estimated crowd in excess of 80,000* people watching the race in the city’s official spectator zones and along the course, which spanned from Roundhay Park into the city centre.
This was alongside the more than 6,000 amateur athletes that competed across the whole triathlon weekend.
Alongside the Brownlees who put in superb performances in their home city, Leeds-based Great Britain star Vicky Holland came in third with Jodie Stimpson fourth in the women’s race with all showing great form ahead of this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Bermuda's Flora Duffy remains the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader for 2016 after leading the women's race until being overtaken by American superstar Jorgensen in the closing stages.
The Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, held in the city for the first time, once again demonstrated Yorkshire’s ability to successfully host a major global sporting event and to generate phenomenal support amongst local residents. Over the course of the weekend, not only were there huge crowds lining the route, but also #WTSLeeds was seen by nearly 7,000,000 and over got over 1,000 mentions on Twitter alone.
The event was also supported by almost 600 volunteers who signed up to act as marshals and guides for the thousands of visitors and competitors, including the first volunteer to sign up, Bailey Matthews. Bailey was also on hand to present medals to some of those who took part as they crossed the finish line.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said: “What a fantastic weekend for Leeds and Yorkshire! Today in particular has been a very special day which I’m sure will live long in the memory of everyone who saw it. After an incredible women’s race featuring the fantastic Gwen Jorgensen, Flora Duffy and Vicky Holland, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee following it up by coming first and second in their home city is the perfect result.
“Once again Leeds has shown itself off fantastically to the world as the perfect venue for major international events. I’d like to thank everyone around the route for creating such an electric atmosphere and to everyone involved in making the event such a success, especially the volunteers who yet again showed our city at its finest. We look forward to hopefully making World Triathlon Leeds even bigger and better next year as part of our commitment to Leeds being recognised around the world as a leading triathlon city.”
Rupert Pybus, Global Head of Brand and Marketing at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said: “As Title Sponsor of the triathlon we wish to congratulate Alistair Brownlee and Jonathon Brownlee and Gwen Jorgensen on their performances. We are delighted by the quality of athletes the event attracted and the passion and enthusiasm of all participants. It was a fantastic weekend and I hope that everyone who took part, and those who came to Leeds to support enjoyed it.”
Jack Buckner, Chief Executive of British Triathlon, said: “We had a vision in coming to Leeds, we wanted to inspire everyone to support and participate in an amazing event. We like to thank everyone for making that happen.”
Images from the event are available via http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/gyisports?nav=pr439151106 credit to Getty images.
For all information on the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds and to pre-register for the 2017 event visit http://leeds.triathlon.org.
*This an initial estimated crowd figure. A full UK Sport-funded analysis and economic benefit report will be produced following the event.
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Notes to editors
The Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds is a partnership between British Triathlon, Leeds City Council, UK Sport, ITU, with Columbia Threadneedle as the main title sponsors of the event.
Important route information
All properties along the route impacted by the event will have received two letters with initial details, information and guidance concerning the event. Roads around the route are expected to close by 4am, with closures starting as early as 12am on 12 June, and will be closed for a minimum of 12 hours with the route needing to be completely clear of vehicles.
Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained through the event and emergency services, health and social care providers, community meals at home and other agencies are working together to ensure care and support individuals may need is provided.
About Columbia Threadneedle Investments
Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset management group that provides a broad range of actively managed investment strategies and solutions for individual, institutional and corporate clients around the world. With more than 2000 people including over 450 investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia, we manage £323 billion 1 of assets across developed and emerging market equities, fixed income, asset allocation solutions and alternatives.
Columbia Threadneedle Investments started its successful relationship with the ITU World Series in 2013 and has since become Global Financial Services Partner.www.columbiathreadneedle.com
All figures as at 31 March 2016. Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.
Source: Ameriprise Financial Q1 2016 earnings release.
The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings
As a global asset manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments recognises the importance of being the best in the field, not just at home, but on a global basis. The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings are used to determine the best performing triathletes across the ITU World Triathlon Series.
The Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader Trophy is presented to the top male and female elite athlete at each ITU World Triathlon Series event. In 2016 the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Leader will continue to wear the bespoke race markings and carry the colours of the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings logo on their bike rack in transition.
Launched in 2015, the Columbia Threadneedle Rankings Report identifies the trends and interesting statistics after each event throughout the season.
The official Columbia Threadneedle Rankings can be accessed at http://wts.triathlon.org/rankings. Engage with the conversation on social media using the hashtag #CTrankings, or follow @CTinvest_Tri.
British Triathlon is the governing body for the sport in Great Britain. It is responsible for raising the profile and delivering elite performance for Triathlon. Triathlon is a fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic & Paralympic sport with talented world class athletes, coaches and support staff, focused around delivering world-class events and medal winning performances. www.britishtriathlon.org
Leeds City Council is the second-largest local authority in England with a population of around 776,000. Leeds has a very proud sporting heritage and we are committed to encouraging sport as a way of promoting the city and healthy lifestyles, as well as bringing world-class events, building towards our ambition to become European Capital of Culture 2023. www.leeds.gov.uk
UK Sport is the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of National Lottery and Exchequer funding into Olympic and Paralympic sports and bringing major sporting events to the UK. www.uksport.gov.uk/events
The ITU is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon and all related MultiSport disciplines. ITU is proudly committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high performance level. www.triathlon.org
A Wanda Sports Holdings company, IRONMAN operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN®Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl®, IRONKIDS®, six of nine International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series races, road cycling events including the UCI Velothon Majors Series, mountain bike races, premier marathons and other multisport races. The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world, with more than 260 events across 42 countries and over 680,000 participants annually. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.