Sarasota-Bradenton to host pentathlon 2015 World Cup first round in February

Sarasota-Bradenton to host 2015 World Cup first round in February

srocco@bradenton.comJune 13, 2014 

SARASOTA

After last week's "raging success" at the 2014 World Cup Final, the Union International de Pentathlon Modern -- the international governing body for pentathlon -- confirmed Sarasota-Bradenton will host the sport's first World Cup of 2015.

The games, scheduled for Feb. 18-22, will draw more than 200 athletes from 40 countries who will compete to qualify for the World Cup 2016, also to be held in Sarasota-Bradenton.

"The finals is the most prestigious of World Cup events, but to have the first World Cup means that no athletes have been injured yet in competition or none have been disqualified," said Katherine Harris, executive chairwoman of Sarasota-Bradenton Pentathlon, the local organizing committee for the sport. "February in Florida is going to be a great time."

The region had already won the bid for the games, but the UIPM had to reaffirm the bid based on Sarasota-Bradenton Pentathlon's performance in hosting the 2014 World Cup Final last week.

"The success of the event that just finished is what made this happen," said Rob Stull, chief executive of USA Pentathlon, at a press conference Thursday.

A venue for the 2015 World Cup first round has not been determined.

Last week's events were held at the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood

Ranch and at Selby Aquatic Center in Sarasota.

"There's a number of beautiful venues (the UIPM) has seen and liked them all, so we just need to go back and see what's going to fit best for February," Harris said.

With 200 athletes competing at the games with February, as compared to 72 at last week's World Cup Final, attendance will multiply. The delegations for the athletes will generate more than 3,000 hotel room nights alone, Stull said.

Harris stressed without her volunteers and the support of the community, Sarasota-Bradenton wouldn't be hosting the heralded competition.

"We're the ideal community," she said. "We should have the ideal sport."

Sabrina Rocco, East Manatee reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7024. Follow her on Twitter @sabrinarocco.

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