Cloudy skies over Yas Marina early Friday gave little hint of the forecast wild weather. Photo: Tri NZ

“It is with regret that we announce the cancellation of the 2024 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi, scheduled to take place on Friday, 8 March and Saturday, 9 March, due to severe adverse weather conditions. We do not, at any stage, wish to put our athletes in danger and the forecast adverse weather would have jeopardised the safety of the event. The safety of our athletes is of paramount importance and this decision has not been taken lightly.

The decision, jointly made by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon, comes after the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority of Abu Dhabi announced that all activities outdoors from Friday, 8 March until Sunday, 10 March, are to be cancelled, due to the severe rainfall and thunderstorms forecasted.

The Local Organising Committee, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and World Triathlon have tried all possible avenues to host at least the events scheduled for Friday, 8 March, in a secured and closed venue, but the the local authorities have dismissed this option as all public events have to be cancelled given the need of the region to get ready for the adverse weather circumstances. Best regards,
The World Triathlon Team.”

The decision is a blow for all and none so more than McCullough who has seen repeated chances to prove his Mixed Relay worth to the NZ selections stymied by misfortune.

McCullough was named in the NZL team for the cancelled Montreal race, then fell ill the day before another MR at WTCS Sunderland. He was later robbed of the chance to use his swim prowess in Paris.

Soon after the cancellation was confirmed, NZ team management in Abu Dhabi met to discuss next steps for the athletes.

The next WTCS round is scheduled for Yokohama, Japan on May 11. WTCS Cagliari on May 25 is the last of World Triathlon’s premier race series events before the individual qualification cut-off for Paris on May 27.

A ‘final chance’ Mixed Relay qualifier for nations not already qualified for Paris is scheduled for World Cup Hautulco (Mexico) on ay 18-19. With a MR ranking of 4, NZL is a lock for Paris so would not necessarily need to compete.

More to follow…

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