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New Zealand Elite Triathlete Tony Dodds wants to attract more world class international triathletes to Wanaka for the elite leg of the Contact Tri Series on Friday 20th January 2012 and he is putting up to ten grand of money where his mouth is.
Nicknamed the ‘Doddsy International’, Dodds is hoping to raise enough funds to quintuple the prize pot, so far he has tripled the $2,000 1st place prize money to $7,000, an athlete inspired move believed to be unique in the world of triathlon and just as rare in any professional sport – the athlete finding the money and putting it all on the line for all-comers to take away.
“On the international triathlon circuit prize money is the biggest draw-card for a professional athlete. I’m gambling that a few of my international rivals will take the bait, $7k will guarantee a few, but $10k would dig up a whole lot!” says Dodds.
Most recently Nelson berry company Sujon have very generously approached Dodds and offered $1,000 towards the pot.
Several local businesses, a very generous anonymous fan, Lake Wanaka Tourism and Tony’s sponsors have all helped to contribute towards the prize. Plus local tourism operators have donated some adventurous extra-curricular activities including helicopter sight-seeing, hunting and water-sports.
And his hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed, with over half a dozen extra elites registered as a result of Tony’s efforts, including:
· Kris Gemmell – Olympian, winner of multiple world cups and fellow NZ elite squad member. Winner of the recent Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Cup in Auckland.
· Laurent Vidal – French Olympian, winner of last year’s race, and number 7 in the world.
· Ryan Sissons – fellow NZ elite squad member from Auckland, ranked 18 in the world in 2011.
· Simon Whitfield - Canada, gold medal Sydney Olympics, Bronze medal Athens Olympics
Adding further incentive for sponsors to part with their money, should Tony win, he has advised that all the additional prize money will be donated to Cystic Fibrosis research.
About Contact Tri Series Wanaka
All events take place on Friday 20th January, preceding Challenge Wanaka which follows on Saturday 21st January. There are events for everyone from children to beginners to elites in a festival atmosphere with large crowds on a flat and easy course.
Registration & Late Entries Challange Wanaka Marque 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Contact 1:2:1 Boys & Girls 2:15pm
Contact 3:9:3 Men 2:40pm
Women & Teams 2:41pm
Contact Trophy Women & Womens/Mixed Teams 3:40pm
Men & Men’s Teams 5:20pm
Contact Cup Elite: Women 7:00pm
Prize-Giving: Finish Line upon completion of elite men’s event
About Tony Dodds
Tony Dodds is one to watch. Since becoming a competitive triathlete in 2005 he has quickly made his way to the top, securing the title of New Zealand Under 23 Champion three times and winning the New Zealand Sprint Championships in both 2010 and 2011, as well as achieving a number of top placings on the world stage. With the ultimate goal of competing in future Olympic Games, at only 23 he is no small player and most definitely has the potential to achieve this.