Challenge’s flagship The Championship event moves to 29 August, creating an action-packed weekend of racing along with the Collins Cup.

The Championship, which was originally set for 23 May, has quickly grown into one of triathlon’s most prestigious events since its first running in 2017. We’ve had two epic battles between Lionel Sanders and Sebastian Kienle while Lucy Charles-Barclay is the three-time reigning champion in the women’s race.

“We regret having to deliver this news,” said race director Melisa Kubalcová, “but want to give our athletes the clarity they deserve. Of course, we would have liked to enjoy this flagship event with everyone in May, but unfortunately that appears to be impossible.

“Not only do we want everyone to be able to travel safely to Samorin, but we also want to ensure safety at our race venue. Therefore, we now come to the difficult decision to move the event to August 29.”

Lionel Sanders and Sebastian Kienle
Lionel Sanders and Sebastian Kienle went head to head in 2017 and 2018 at The Championship. (Photo: Stephen Pond/Getty Images for Challenge Family)

Postponement of the event puts The Championship just three weeks before the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St George, Utah. While we’d normally see athletes prioritising the M-dot event, 36 of the world’s best triathletes will be in Samorin the same weekend for the PTO’s inaugural Collins Cup event.

This new format will see 12 athletes from Europe, the USA and International teams fighting it out in a series of one-on-one-on-one races, backed by legendary team captains. 

The draw of the Collins Cup and The Championship’s €50,000 could be enough to draw athletes (particularly those based in Europe) to Samorin, especially given the on-going disruption due to Covid-19. Meanwhile, age-groupers will get to experience a bumper weekend of pro racing.

X-Bionic Sphere Samorin
The state-of-the-art X-Bionic Sphere is the perfect location for triathlon events. (Photo: Challenge Family)

For age-groupers unable to race in August, Challenge Family is continuing its fair approach with either a 70 percent entry refund or the option of an X-Card worth 100 percent of the entry fee to spend at the X-Bionic Sphere until 31 December 2022. Meanwhile hotel bookings at the X-Bionic Sphere will also be transferred to the new race date in August.

Kubalcová added: “We hope, of course, that everyone remains safe and healthy in the coming months and that the world will soon return to a bit of ‘normalcy’. Until then, we continue to work very hard to put on a great edition of Challenge Family The Championship and we welcome you in August.”

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