“The preparations are going according to plan: on 18-19 September the long-distance World Duathlon Championships will take place in Zofingen. Stefan Ruf, President of the Powerman Zofingen organising committee, talks about the state of preparations.
What is the state of preparation about 75 days before the World Championships?
Stefan Ruf: Only two and a half months are left and then the Powerman Zofingen will take place for the 32nd time – under the title: World Triathlon Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships 2021. We are really looking forward to having a competition again in September after such a long break.
What feedback has the LOC received from the athletes?
The athletes have been training for months. The top athletes have already had one or two competitions. They all want to show that they are fit and want to race again. Competing is the essence of sport. Be it with your own best times in previous years or with the times of your colleagues. With the elites, it’s all about the title. We have recently received a lot of feedback and questions. There is a lot of interest.
The Powerman World Championships had to be postponed twice. What did this postponement mean for the registered athletes?
Many athletes had registered for the event in September 2020, which had to be postponed to May 2021. In May, more registrations came in. Finally, there was another postponement to September 2021. The data of all registered athletes was automatically transferred to the event in September. The athletes do not have to do anything else. They don’t have to pay anything extra either. Now we expect them in Zofingen in September.
What is the current registration status?
That is still relatively difficult to assess at the moment. Due to the pandemic, we had a special situation with consequences for international travel. We are now assuming that entry regulations and quarantine rules will be much easier, so that many foreign participants will be able to travel to Switzerland again. Overall, the number of registrations is already respectable. The number of registrations will rise sharply in the coming weeks. This is especially true for the elite athletes – after all, the world championship participants have to register by 31 July.
What support has Powerman Zofingen received from the authorities?
In Switzerland, we consider ourselves fortunate that the government has approved a major support programme for the sport and is making extensive financial resources available to the associations. The aim is to cover the financial risks and to make COVID 19 protection concepts possible. Above all, despite the economic uncertainties, we can continue to count on the support of our loyal sponsors.
What have you been particularly happy about recently?
Sport is my personal passion, and it was a pleasure for me to follow sporting events again. It’s not just about endurance sports, but also the European Football Championships, tennis at Wimbledon et cetera. We’re seeing people in the stadiums again.
What worries you the most?
In sport, there is a very big highlight: the Olympic Games, which are taking place in Tokyo this year. All eyes are now on Tokyo and we hope that the Olympics will go smoothly. The sporting events will be revived. I am immensely happy about that. The live experience has a special quality. That motivates me enormously.