Schoeman, who will be attending the event on Yas Island onMarch 3 and 4, 2017, made history at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when he took home South Africa’s first ever triathlon medal.
The 25-year- old, who has become a force to be reckoned with in the sport, went on to win his first World Triathlon Series gold medal at the Grand Final in Cozumel last month, a fitting way to wrap-up his spectacular season.
“Abu Dhabi is always an important race because it is the first one on the calendar, and this year I’m especially amped to check out the new course,” said Schoeman.
“March is a great time to visit Abu Dhabi and with the race now on Yas Island we will get the chance to make our way around the iconic Yas Marina Circuit and the other landmarks I’ve heard so much about. I can’t wait to enjoy some time-off after the race and check it out!”
Joining Schoeman on the start line in the UAE capital in March is fellow Olympian Richard Murray, who competed in his first ever triathlon at the age of 13.
“I started out running and mountain biking when I was really young and fell in love with these two disciplines,” he said. “I started competing in duathlons for a while before I took on triathlons in 2010 and it has been a thrilling journey for me since.
“It all kicked off for me in 2012 where I won a silver medal in the ITU World Triathlon series event in Sydney and a bronze in San Diego. These two wins got me a spot at the London Olympic Games which was fantastic.”
Murray, whose training partner is two-time Abu Dhabi and reigning world champion, Mario Mola, had a promising start to the 2016 season, claiming a silver medal in Abu Dhabi before suffering a broken collar bone following a crash at the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast in April.
Murray made an unbelievable comeback to run into fourth position at the Rio 2016 Olympics in August.
The event also sees the return of the Junior Triathlon – a fun event aimed at encouraging youngsters to get active. There are four entry categories for the 2017 edition, open for children aged 5 to 15 years:
MINI 1KM – a 1km run for 5 – 8 year olds.
KINDS DUATHLON – a 3km cycle and a 500m run for 7 – 9 year olds and 10 – 11 year olds.
JUNIOR DUATHLON – a 6km cycle and 1 km run for 12 – 13 year olds, and a 6km cycle and a 1.5 km run for 14 – 15 year olds.
JUNIOR TRIATHLON SUPER SPRINT– consists of a 400m swim, 10km cycle and a 2.5km run for 12 – 13 years and 14 – 15 years.
Online registrations for the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi are now open to the public via the race website, AbuDhabi.Triathlon.org. Starting from just AED 450 for adults and AED 60 for children, race spots are expected to be snapped up quickly by keen triathletes and first timers alike.