Ironman has this evening officially announced that the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, is to be postponed to February 2022.
The decision, which had been rumoured for a couple of days, was made in conjunction with local officials due to the impact that Covid-19 continues to have on the island. The rescheduled Ironman World Championship will now take place on 5 February 2022.
“The resurgence of the virus and new Delta strain has had significant impact on the island community of Hawaii. Combined with substantial border closures and travel restrictions for qualified athletes, there is not a viable pathway in October to host the IRONMAN World Championship,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The Ironman Group.
“After extensive consultation with governmental and community leaders in Hawaii, we believe that the best course of action is to delay the event until February of 2022.”
The postponement means that for the first time since 1982 there’ll be two Ironman World Championships in one year.
Athletes who are registered for the 2021 edition of the World Championship will be contacted directly by Ironman. Meanwhile, there will be no material changes in qualifying for professional or age-group athletes for the 2022 Ironman World Championship.
In a statement on the Ironman website, the organisation said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the postponement of the 2021 Supersapiens Ironman World Championship until February 5, 2022.
“Covid-19 is worse in Hawaii than at any point in the pandemic. This risk affects athletes, volunteers, partners, staff, the community – everyone. After deep and careful consultation with county and state officials and other important constituents, we agree: the risks right now are too great to bear.
“We know this postponement is not the news you wanted to hear and is particularly disappointing for those athletes who have experienced the prior postponements. We, like you, wish things were different.
“As you can imagine, rescheduling an event of this magnitude has a lot of moving parts. We are working together with local and state Hawaii officials so that we may welcome athletes back to the Island of Hawaii in February with the racing experience for which the Ironman World Championship is famous.”
Photo credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman