Abu Dhabi WTCS 2024 Series Opener Cancelled

World Triathlon Photo of 2023 World Championship Grand Finale

All World Triathlon events in Abu Dhabi this weekend, including the debut race of the 2024 World Championship Triathlon Series, have been cancelled.

The decision to cancel was made jointly by World Triathlon and the local race organizers, citing extreme weather that would “jeopardize the safety of the event.” Organizers added, “We do not, at any stage, wish to put our athletes in danger. The safety of our athletes is of paramount importance and this decision has not been taken lightly.”

In addition to the highly anticipated season opener that would have offered a first look at the main contenders for the Paris Olympics, the Para Cup and Mixed Relay events were also scratched.

The decision was made jointly by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon, comes after the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority of Abu Dhabi announced that all activities outdoors from Friday, 8 March until Sunday, 10 March, are to be cancelled, due to the severe rainfall and thunderstorms forecasted.

The Local Organizing Committee, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon tried “all possible avenues to host at least the events scheduled for Friday, March 8, in a secured and closed venue, but unfortunately this option was also not possible given the need of the region to prepare for the adverse weather circumstances.”

Athletes on site in Abu Dhabi had posted pictures of sunny and warm conditions to social media during the time period when the elite races were scheduled to take place.

The loaded women’s was set to include all but two of the top 20 who finished the 2023 season in Pontevedra last October, where Britain’s Beth Potter secured her first world title, and Cassandre Beaugrand and Emma Lombardi became the first French women to finish on the Series podium.

The planned men’s field was equally stellar, headed by 2023 World Champion Dorian Coninx of France and top contenders Alex Yee, Hayden Wilde and Vincent Luis. Only Pierre Le Corre of France and Jelle Geens of Belgium were missing from the 2023 top 20.