Sidon's Swim, Cycle, Run Triathlon Puts Lebanon on Olympic Map

Published September 3rd, 2018 - 10:37 GMT
Triathlon participants emerge from the water after swimming 1,500 meters. (The Daily Star)
Triathlon participants emerge from the water after swimming 1,500 meters. (The Daily Star)

Sidon has hosted its first AlfaSaida Olympic Triathlon Sunday, the state-run National News Agency reported. The event was organized by the Sidon International Marathon Association in cooperation with the Sidon Municipality, under the patronage of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

The triathlon was divided into two categories that varied in the total distance covered by participants. Participants in the Olympic race swam 1,500 meters, cycled 40 kilometers and ran 10 kilometers. Competitors in the Sprint race completed 750 meters, 20 kilometers and 5 kilometers in the same events, respectively.

The Olympic participants began their race at al-Zira, an island off Sidon’s coast, while those in the Sprint race took small boats to their starting point, an area 750 meters north of the municipal swimming pool. Civil Defense maritime units were present on the scene in case of any emergency.

Upon reaching land, all of the participants cycled back and forth between Rafik Hariri Boulevard and the Al-Zaatari Mosque. They then headed to Rafik Hariri Sports City, where they completed the running portion of the competition.

MP Bahia Hariri, who was representing Prime Minister-designate Hariri at the event, praised the organizers and participants for their efforts, and for contributing to Sidon’s advancements through their activity.

“Sidon is on its way to becoming a maritime city par excellence,” Bahia Hariri said. She mentioned plans for a new port and the potential for drilling for oil off the city’s coast. She also referred to the island and water park as attractions for individual divers and diving academies alike.

Sidon International Marathon Association head Nasser Hammoud described the race as “very successful” thanks to the concerted efforts of everyone involved, “whether the municipality or security forces or the organizing committee or participants who worked in harmony.”

“We will meet soon in other sports activities to confirm that Sidon is back on the tourist and sports map,” he said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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