Ironman China to be held on May 29, 2011 was cancelled at the last minute, announced the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) last week.
The race was one of a few top level world triathlon competitions held in 2011. The last minute cancellation came as a shock to more than 900 registered athletes. The race was fulled booked. Many first class athletes had been training months for the game.
China has been known for its successfully hosted world class games, such as the Asian Games in 1990 (Beijing) and 2010 (Guangzhou) and 2008 Summer Olympic Games (Beijing).
This is not the first time international game was cancelled for no obvious reasons. The 2007 Lhasa International Half Marathon Challenge was also cancelled at the last minute. It is suspected that the cancellation was out of concern of safety associated with running at the high attitude, coincidentally the lure of the race. For the Tianjin Triathlon, politics between local government bodies and a corrupted central sports authority were rumored to be the blame. The coveted game was originally scheduled to be held in a southern city Kaikou in Hainan Province. It was then moved to northern port city Tianjin when WTC was not satisfied with the preparations in Haikou. However, officials in Tianjin was either totally incompetent or torpedoed by frustrated Kaikou officials.