New world record a possibility as Olympic champ Blummenfelt lines up at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai
The IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai — a sold-out event featuring more than 2,500 participants, including nearly 100 elite professionals — headlines a packed schedule of sports events taking place in Dubai this weekend.
The two IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai defending champions — Swiss legend Daniela Ryf and Denmark’s Daniel Bakkegard — as well as the Tokyo Olympic men’s triathlon winner Kristian Blummenfelt will be in action on Saturday as some of the toughest athletes from around the globe take to the streets of Jumeirah for the event, which is supported by Dubai Sports Council and organised under the slogan “Anything is Possible”.
IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai is billed as a race that bridges the exotic with the luxurious, and, fast and flat, it also a gateway to brand new personal best times. Last year, Bakkegard set a new Dubai record with a time of 03:33:02, improving on Jan Frodeno’s 2016 time of 03:34:48, and there is every chance of that mark being rewritten on Saturday given the strong field.
Norwegian Blummenfelt, who made history in 2021 by becoming the first male triathlete to win the Olympic and World titles in the same year, is the world record holder for the 70.3 distance with a time of 3:25:21 (2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championships in Bahrain), as well as the record holder for the 140.6 distance with a time of 7:21:12, and he could be fancying his chances of creating a new mark this weekend.
Some of the world’s best associate-member cricket teams will also be in Dubai this month for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 matches, which are a part of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup qualification process. Hosts UAE and teams from Oman, Namibia, Nepal and Papua New Guinea will be playing 13 matches in Dubai from March 5 to 22 to earn crucial qualification points.
Elsewhere, the 2022 Dubai Polo Gold Cup champion will be decided at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club on Saturday. Habtoor Polo are taking on Dubai Wolves by CAFU, and UAE Polo are meeting Abu Dhabi Polo in the semis of the tournament, and the winners will meet for the prestigious trophy on Saturday evening. AM Polo and Zedan Polo, meanwhile, will face-off in the subsidiary final earlier that afternoon.
The list of other events taking place this weekend includes: Dubai Police Open Tennis Tournament (March 4-14) at Dubai Police Officers Club and Puca Academy; 8th DIBC Open Bowling Tournament (Feb 27-Mar 13) at Dubai International Bowling Centre; Gamer’s Galaxy Dota 2 Invitational eSports in Sound Stage 2, Dubai Studio City; Ultimate Racenight (Mar 4) at Dubai International Academy, Al Barsha; Dragon Boat Race (March 5-6) in Marsa Plaza, Dubai Festival City; Hatta Adventures for Ladies (March 5) in Hatta; the CBD Run on The Palm (March 5), Palm Jumeirah; Red Bull Car Park Drift (March 5-6) on Souq Al Marfa, Deira Island; Spring Rapid Team Chess Tournament 2022 (March 5-6) in Dubai Chess and Culture Club; InnerFight Junior Run Series (March 6) in InnerFight HQ, Dubai Studio City; Hatta Hills Run (Mar 6) from JA Hatta Fort Hotel; Ladies Badminton Tournament (March 6) in Prime Star Sports, Al Qusais; Women’s Tennis Tournament (March 6) in Hyatt Regency, Al Khaleej Road; Spinneys Family Fun Run Series (Mar 6) in Dubai Silicon Oasis, Town Square.