Vancouver, Canada (January 29, 2008) - The International Triathlon Union today announced five new Continental Cups to its 2008 season; two in Africa, two in Europe and one in Asia. All will be draft-legal Olympic distance races consisting of a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and 10-kilometer run. ITU Triathlon Continental Cups are highly important for athletes to earn points and gain entry into the BG Triathlon World Cup series.
Seoul has been awarded an ITU Triathlon Asian Cup for May 25; marking the first time an ITU sanctioned international triathlon will take place in the South Korean capital. The Korean Triathlon Federation has set the prize money at $50,000 USD for the inaugural event, which will prepare the city for its bid for the 2012 ITU Triathlon World Championships. Seoul's impressive sports resumé includes the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Bloemfontein, South Africa will host an ITU Triathlon African Cup on February 23. For African triathletes, the race will be an important prelude to the ATU African Triathlon Championships in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia on March 8-9.
Mauritius will also stage an ITU Triathlon African Cup on May 11. Last year it hosted the successful ATU African Triathlon Championships at Le Coco Beach and the country continues to support the growth of triathlon. Mauritius has hosted ITU-sanctioned African Cups since 2005.
Chania, the second-largest city on Crete in Greece, will host an ITU Triathlon European Cup on April 13. The race will be pivotal for many European athletes vying for a spot at the prestigious ETU Triathlon European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal on May 10-11.
The popular Hungarian resort town of Balatonfured will also host an ITU Triathlon European Cup for the first time. The Olympic distance event will take place on June 14 near the shores of scenic Lake Balaton, located approximately 100 kilometers south west of Budapest, home of the 2010 Triathlon World Championships. Balatonfured also hosted last year's Hungarian National Championships.