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European Duathlon Championships provide major boost to local economy
Posted on: Sunday 17th April 2011
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The prestigious European Duathlon Championships featuring some of the world's best duathletes were brought to a close this evening in Limerick with France taking the top honours in both the male and female elite races.
The major sporting event which took place on Saturday and Sunday April 16 and 17th throughout the streets of Limerick, European City of Sport 2011, was estimated to be worth over €1m to the local economy.
Benoit Nicolas and Sandra Levenez were announced as European Duathlon champions during the closing ceremony in Limerick tonight.
Limerick City welcomed athletes from 16 countries throughout Europe as well as competitors from Russia and the USA to compete in the Championships which were held in Ireland for the first time.
The Championship included three separate events running throughout the weekend - The Elite Race (Sunday) the European Age Group Championships (Saturday) and the Open Race (Sunday). All three events took the form of a Run-Cycle-Run in varying distances, but in immediate succession against the clock and fellow competitors.
Participants in all three events got the rare chance to race through the streets of Limerick City on completely closed roads.
The Open Race winners were all from Limerick; Brian Jenkins (44:39) and Rosemary Ryan (50:10) took the honours with a team from Limerick Tri Club winning the relay. (Full race winners list attached)
“I know that all the families had a wonderful time in Ireland’s favourite sporting city and enjoyed themselves immensely during their stay here. It was a fantastic weekend in Limerick with beautiful weather which really showcased the city and it was lovely to see so many people taking part in the amateur Open Race. I know that the Meet and Train groups organised by Limerick City Sports Partnership were a great way for beginners to get fit for the Duathlon and I hope that those competitors will take part in further events throughout the summer. A huge congratulations to the organisers, Limerick is very proud to be hosting so many prestigious sporting events as EU City of Sport 2011 which provide huge benefits to our local economy.”
Shannon Development Assistant Chief Executive John King said: “The economic benefits of sport events of this kind for Limerick and the Shannon Region are very significant and are worth in excess of €60m to the local economy every year. Limerick City is delighted to have hosted the European Duathlon Championships during our year as European City of Sport 2011. This event alone has attracted over 800 participants with 600 coming from overseas, providing a significant boost to the local economy of over €1million.”
“The work of Limerick Triathlon Club, in partnership with Shannon Development and the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, in securing this event emphasises the importance of local Sports Ambassadors. While Limerick already has a strong calendar of sports events throughout the year, the Sports Ambassadors Programme linked to Limerick European City of Sport 2011 has seen many of these events being expanded and enhanced.”
“Shannon Development and the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau are actively marketing Limerick as a location for new sports related events and conferences, particularly with the 2012 Olympic Games in mind”, Mr King added.
Chairman of Limerick Triathlon Club, John Deegan, said it was a great honour for Limerick and Triathlon Ireland to stage the European Duathlon Championships.
“It is a major boost for the sport and a testament to Ireland’s ability to host international events and particularly for our club which has a strong tradition of hosting some of the best races in the country. We were delighted with the support of the Limerick people who came out and cheered for these top class athletes as they raced through the streets of the city.”