PANAJI: Ahead of India’s first-ever IRONMAN 70.3 Goa race scheduled to be held on October 20, 2019 in Panaji where over 1000 participants from 27 countries will be taking part, Geoff Meyer, Managing Director, IRONMAN Asia said this was the right time to bring the event to India, thanks to its fitness transformation.
“India was always a place where we wanted to have a presence and we had many requests to bring IRONMAN to India but we did not think the timing was right. But over the past few years, we have seen tremendous sporting developments in India. India is obviously a huge market going through a fitness transformation,” Meyer said.
IRONMAN is arguably considered to be the most challenging and prestigious endurance triathlon event worldwide and over the years, India has made its presence felt at IRONMAN events across the globe.
One of the front runners among Indian triathletes at IRONMAN races globally is Deepak Raj (42), who has completed 20 IRONMAN Full Distance Triathlons between 2008 and 2017. An IT professional turned fitness enthusiast who represented India at the IRONMAN World Championships in 2017, Raj is also the co-founder of Yoska- a fit-tech company based out of Bengaluru that has been responsible for bringing this event to India. “Deepak understands the sport very well and shares our values so I knew the partnership was strong and together we would deliver an athlete experience to be proud of,” Meyer said.
According to Meyer, the number of Indian triathletes taking part in IRONMAN events has gone up considerably over the last few years. “In the forthcoming IRONMAN Malaysia, we have over 40 Indians taking part and IRONMAN Austria and Sweden both had over 25 Indians. This is fantastic and will only keep growing,” Meyer said.
Speaking about their association with IRONMAN Asia, RudraPrasad Nanjundappa( 41) co-founder of Yoska said, “It is a honor for us to beworking with the IRONMAN team on the IRONMAN 70.3 Goa race. We are extremely thankful to the Government of Goa for their unconditional support.”
According to Prasad, the IRONMAN 70.3 Goa event was their humble contribution to Prime Minister Modi’s recently launched ‘Fit-India’ movement.
IRONMAN 70.3 Goa which will see participants swim 1.9km, cycle 90km and run 21.1kmhas received an overwhelming response among Indian triathletes and has over 800 Indian participants who have registered from Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Goa and other cities. “It was our dream to bring IRONMAN to India and provide the fast-growing triathlete community in the country an opportunity to race at home,” said Deepak Raj, an IRONMAN certified coach who continues to be an inspiration to the triathlon community in India and abroad.