By James Crook

136098044June 7- Chicago will play host to the 2015 World Triathlon Grand Final, and will also hold a World Triathlon Series event during the 2014 season, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced today.

Chicago will be the third American city to hold a World Triathlon Series event after San Diego became the second in 2012, following in the footsteps of Washington, who stage an event in 2009.

This will also mark the first time an American city has hosted the Grand Final elite races in almost two decades, when the event was hosted in Cleveland in 1996.

"We are thrilled to bring the championship final of our World Triathlon Series to Chicago, which has a strong history of hosting world class sporting events," said ITU President and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Marisol Casado.

"USA Triathlon has also been active in organising several World Triathlon Series races in the last several years.

"We are confident their combined experience will produce an excellent World Championship event."

167117834Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee won the last World Series event in the USA at San Diego in April

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed his delight at the city being awarded the Grand Final, and promised a top-class event in two year's time.

"I am honoured to announce Chicago will be joining the ranks of other global cities as a host of the ITU World Triathlon Series, beginning in 2014," he said.

"With our gorgeous Lake Michigan setting, fervour for sports, and international demographics, Chicago is an ideal venue for this illustrious event.

"We look forward to welcoming these world-class athletes and their fans to Chicago and are certain that they will all have a wonderful time."

Along with the elite races, Chicago will also host junior, under-23 and a Para-triathlon event, in what will be one of the last major events before the sport makes its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016.

This year's Grand Final will take place in London on much the same course as the one used at last summer's Olympic Games, and the 2014 final has been awarded to Edmonton in Canada.

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