By Duncan Mackay

ITU World Triathlon Championships Auckland 2012February 25 - Bidding has been opened by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) for the 2015 World Triathlon Championships, it was announced today. 

National Federations and cities interested in hosting the final race of the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series have been invited to put themselves forward.

It will cost the successful city at least $455,000 (£300.000/€348,000) to host the event, according to the official bid documents. 

"ITU is committed to hosting top level events in iconic cities," ITU President Marisol Casado said.

"As our sport continues to rise in popularity, we believe hosting the ITU World Triathlon Championships offers cities the possibility to showcase their city to a global audience."

In 2009, the event was revamped, expanding the former single-day World Championship race into an exciting multi-city global series, during which athletes vie for prize money totaling more than $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.5 million).

The series culminates with the ITU World Triathlon Championships, which will continue to be called the World Triathlon Grand Final through 2013.

In addition to crowning the elite ITU world champions, the World Championships include the junior and under-23 divisions, as well as Paratriathlon, aquathlon and age group races.

The week of action also includes the annual ITU Congress, which has representation from more than 140 countries.

Hosting the World Triathlon Championships 2015 offers cities the opportunity to showcase themselves to millions of worldwide television audiences while attracting thousands of international guests and race participants, the ITU claims.

ITU World Triathlon Championships age group races Auckland 2012Besides the elite races, the World Triathlon Championships also features age-group events giving thousands the opportunity to compete on the same course as the top names

With record high participants in 2012, the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Triathlon Grand Final generated a 307 per cent return on national investment, while television exposure for the overall series increased by 18 per cent, according to figures published by the world governing body.

The winning city will retain all revenues received from public and corporate funding, mass participation entry fees, hotel commissions, catering and sales of national television distribution
and sponsorship rights.

The 2013 World Triathlon Series will conclude at the iconic Olympic venue in Hyde Park from September 11 to 15, giving all athletes the opportunity to compete on the same stage those that competed at London 2012.

The 2014 World Triathlon Championships were recently awarded to Edmonton, which previously hosted the event in 2001.

A formal announcement publicising the selected host city is due made at the ITU World Triathlon Yokohama on May 15.

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