ASTANA – Swim, bike, run. The national Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan triathlon federations joined to form the Central Asian Triathlon Association (CATA) at the March 3 meeting in the capital chaired by Kazakh Triathlon Federation President Karim Massimov.
The parties signed a memorandum of cooperation and mutual understanding to develop and popularise the multi-race sport in the region, reported the National Olympic Committee press service. The association will ease communication between Central Asian athletes and organisers in sharing their experiences.
CATA members also agreed to combine their efforts to combat the use of substances and procedures prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
The members elected an executive committee, unanimously choosing Galymzhan Yessenov, vice president of the Kazakhstan Triathlon Federation and head of the Almaty Triathlon Federation, to lead the association.
In the last few years, the popularity of triathlon sports has been gaining momentum in the region, especially in Kazakhstan. The first amateur triathlon championship in the country was held in Almaty in 2015. In 2018, the country hosted world races such as Ironman 70.3 and ITU World Cup for the first time.
This year, amateur athletes can participate in 16 starts at Ironman 70.3 Astana, Temiradam Challenge and Almaty Open Championships. The first start of the season and first run of the Temiradam Challenge series (at distances of five and 10 kilometres) were held Feb. 24 in the capital’s triathlon park.
In February, Kazakh Women Tri Club Almaty launched its first free-of-charge classes with a professional coach to prepare women of all ages and training levels to participate in a triathlon.
“It is a sport for those who can dream and believe in themselves or they dream to believe in themselves,” says Elena Kun, project organiser and an athlete who has completed more than one Ironman distance, as quoted by tengrinews.kz.
Ironman 70.3 (also known as Half Ironman) is a triathlon race with an overall distance of 70.3 miles (113 kilometres). It is divided into swimming (1.9 kilometres), cycling (90 kilometres) and running (21 kilometres).