The official website of Triathlete Magazine has confirmed Challenge Bahrain, held December 6 in the Kingdom, as the most prominent challenge in the Triathlon World Championships.
It saw the participation of more than a thousand competitors, including a series of world-renowned champions.
The website mentioned that Challenge Bahrain had nearly every top professional making early plans to extend their season beyond the usual October ending. The motivation for changing plans was the $500,000 prize purse on offer at the Middle Eastern race, an amount that is unprecedented at the half-iron distance.
For comparison, the Ironman World Championship hands out $250,000.
Ultimately, it was Michael Raelert (GER) and Helle Frederiksen (DEN) who smartly peaked for and won the "Challenge Bahrain" race against a pair of packed men's and women's fields, which included both 2014 Ironman World Champions.
The Bahrain race is just the beginning of triathlon’s presence in the Middle East, as immediately following the race Challenge Family announced a Triple Crown Series for 2015 made up of Challenge Dubai, Challenge Oman and Challenge Bahrain, featuring a $1 million prize purse.