Ironman today announced that Malaysia will host two new Ironman races next year, marking a return to the country for the world's most iconic endurance sports brand after nearly four years.
Malaysian government official Zulkefli Sharif, the CEO of Malaysia Major Events, joined Ironman CEO Andrew Messick and Ironman Asia Pacific CEO Geoff Meyer in making the announcement in a special function held here in Kona, Hawaii on the eve of this year's 35th GoPro Ironman World Championships.
The new Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya will be held on the weekend of 12-13 April 2014, while the Ironman Malaysia on the island resort of Langkawi will be held on Saturday, 27 September.
"It is a great privilege to have Ironman return to our country," said Sharif. "We're expecting great interest from international athletes."
"We are extremely excited to welcome Ironman back to Langkawi, and to introduce the Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya," said Sharif. "Ironman has had a long history with our country, and it is a great privilege to have it return here. We are looking forward in welcoming athletes from all over the world with our warm hospitality, and to proudly offer them the unique cultural experience of Malaysia – Truly Asia."
Meyer said the Ironman brand is "delighted" to be returning to Malaysia next year.
"It's been three years since South East Asia hosted an Ironman event, and the sport has grown significantly in that time," said Meyer. "Ironman Malaysia and Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya will bring a brand new energy to the triathlon community in this part of the world, and we look forward to delivering memorable race experiences in spectacular destinations for athletes from around the world."
Putrajaya, a dynamic city situated just 32 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur, symbolizes modern Malaysia. The green and intelligent city, a spectacular mix of the old and new, is the federal administrative center of the country.
Athletes will race on a fast, rolling Ironman 70.3 course in hot conditions amidst an iconic landscape that showcases Malaysia's rich culture amidst a spectacular display of architecture.
Langkawi Island sets the stage for athletes from around the world to be taken on a truly Malaysian tropical and cultural journey. Athletes will be embraced by the local Kampung (village) communities as they embark on their personal Ironman journeys within one of the most welcoming and beautiful destinations in South East Asia.
Ironman Malaysia is one of more than 30 qualifying races on the global Ironman circuit that culminate with the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii each October. Ironman Malaysia will offer 40 age group qualifying slots for Hawaii in 2015.
Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya is one of 60 events worldwide that qualify athletes for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya will offer 30 age group qualifying slots for the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant, Canada on 7 September 2014.
Professional athletes will be competing for a total prize purse of USD$40,000 for Ironman Malaysia and USD$15,000 for Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya.
Online entries for both events will open on Thursday, 7 November 2013 via their respective websites.
For additional information on Ironman Malaysia or to register for the 2014 race, please visit www.ironmanmalaysia.com.
For additional information on Ironman 70.3 Putrajaya or to register for the 2014 race, please visit www.ironmanputrajaya.com.