“I think triathlon is taking so many steps into the unknown lately, which is great to see, and this is just another evolution of that,” says celebrated sports presenter Will McCloy as he makes plans to head from Australia to Nice in southern France to host the first edition of the Global Triathlon Awards.
“To have World Triathlon, Super League and the PTO [Professional Triathletes Organisation] all together as event sponsors and to celebrate ALL of the great athletes under one roof is a big step forward for the sport.
“So, as soon as I heard about it I put my hand up. To be able to co-host alongside Paula Radcliffe is a big honour and I’m really excited to be able to give the athletes the recognition they deserve.
“They put in so much work and a lot of that is very lonely work, so to be able to give them the chance to dress up and be honoured in the way that they should be is something I immediately wanted to be part of.”
After the awards were launched under the banner of “showcasing the elite and uniting the industry” in October, the 11 categories were open for public nominations from October to November, after which a five-strong judging panel including three-time Olympian Tim Don made the final decisions.
The GTAs are unique in bringing together most of the major organisations in the sport with the notable exception of Ironman, who declined to take part for 2023.
“It will evolve year-on-year, but I think we’ll have a really enjoyable event to start 2023 in a positive mood as we look forward to a whole year of big performances from these athletes,” McCloy adds.
While not part of the judging panel, he wasn’t going to be drawn on who he expected to win the awards, although one name did jump out.
“Who has ever done the things that Kristian [Blummenfelt] has done in this period?” McCloy says. “I don’t think there’s anyone else who has finished on the podium on debut in Kona, won Ironman 70.3 worlds, and competed in World Triathlon racing and achieved top 10s just a week or so after.
“That’s not withstanding what he achieved in [the Ironman World Championship in] St George, at Sub 7, and in Cozumel in 2021. If you did that in a career you’d be considered one of the greats, so it’s going to be hard to look past him.”
“But I think everyone who has been nominated, and not just the athletes, but every brand and those up for the lifetime kudos awards, are all worthy, and there are hundreds more who could be on that list as well. Everybody has their favourite performances from the yearI”
Quick-fire Global Tri Awards FAQs
What are the Global Triathlon Awards?
The inaugural awards aim to bring all areas of professional triathlon together, from short course to long course, and athletes, organisers and brands to recognise the key achievements over the past 12 months. Partners in the awards include World Triathlon, Super League Triathlon and the Professional Triathletes Organisation.
Where do the GTAs take place?
They’re being held at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée on the Promenade des Anglais in southern France.
When are they taking place?
Friday, 20 January 2023
Who is up for an award?
There are 11 awards including best male and female athlete and best rookie. Among the names nominated are Great Britain’s Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown, who are up against the likes of Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden, Flora Duffy and Chelsea Sodaro.
Who is on the judging panel?
The five-strong judging panel includes triathlon consultant and age-group triathlete Jordan Blanco, US pro triathlete Chelsea Burns, Former 400m hurdles world champion Stephane Diagana, three-time Olympian Tim Don and former British pro Emma-Kate Lidbury.
Can I attend the GTAs?
Unfortunately, the box office is now closed.
Top image credit: Bartlomiej Zborowski/Super League Triathlon