Arena signs triathlon champion, Iván Raña
Tolentino, 2nd April 2013 – Global swimwear brand Arena has announced a sponsorship agreement with 2002 triathlon world champion Iván Raña. The 33-year-old Spanish triathlete is the company’s first signing as it enters the triathlon market with a new range of trisuits.
Born in Ordes, La Coruña, in the autonomous region of Galicia in northwest Spain, Raña participated in sports from an early age, concentrating initially on swimming. As a junior, he won the 200m and 400m freestyle titles at the Galician Championships, and at the age of 15 moved from his home town to Santiago de Compostela to be with coach Cesar Varela, who persuaded him to focus on the triathlon. In his first foray into international triathlon, he came fourth at the 1996 Junior World Championships in Cleveland, and in the following three years, placed fourth (Perth), sixth (Lausanne) and third (Montreal) at successive Junior World Championships. In 1999, he won his first senior medal, a silver, at the ITU World Cup event in Cancún, Mexico.
Raña made his Olympic debut at the inaugural triathlon event in Sydney in 2000, where he finished less than a minute behind the winner in taking fifth place. His excellent showing in Sydney marked the beginning of a three-year golden period, as Raña became a serious medal challenger at the world’s top events. In the ITU World Cup series, he won gold and silver medals in 2001 and 2002 at the Ixigaqui (Japan) events, successive golds at Funchal, Madeira (2002, 2003), and consistently finished in the top ten at other World Cup events. In 2001 he also won the silver medal at the European Championships in Carlsbad, Czech Republic, before winning the title in 2002 (Győr, Hungary) and 2003 (Carlsbad, Czech Republic). The highlight of his career came in 2002 as he was crowned champion at the ITU World Championships in Cancún, having placed fourth in Edmonton, Canada the year previously. He followed up his world title with silver medals in 2003 (Queenstown, New Zealand) and 2004 (Madeira).
At his second Olympics in Athens in 2004, Raña failed to challenge for the top placings, but four years later in Beijing he once again finished fifth, less than 30 seconds behind the winner. During the period 2004-2008, he continued to challenge at the top levels of the sport, with numerous top-ten finishes, including silver and bronze at the 2006 and 2007 ITU World Cup events in Madrid, and a gold at the 2008 World Cup race in Kitzbühel, Austria.
In 2009 Raña took a break from triathlon to compete as a professional cyclist, but returned to triathlon the following year to once again compete at the sport’s premier events worldwide. Raña was also the 2001 aquathlon (swimming and running) world champion, and for diversion competes from time to time as a rally driver with his brother José Manuel.
“We are thrilled to have signed Iván as our first sponsored triathlete,” said Giuseppe Musciacchio, General Manager – Brand Development. “He has a strong track record having competed at the top levels of the sport for well over a decade, and of course he has shown his class with the 2002 world title and two near-medal performances at the Olympics. We are particularly pleased to have Iván on board as we launch our new trisuit line and commit to this exciting new market for Arena. He will be a valuable member of our team in developing our products and our brand in the market, and look forward to a fruitful and mutually successful partnership.”
“I am excited to be part of this new initiative for Arena,” said Raña. “Having come from a swimming background, I am very aware of the company’s excellence in the pool and open water, and given the company’s commitment to quality, I am impressed but not surprised with their initial product offering and their professional approach to sponsorship. I am looking forward to working with the Arena team, getting some good results with them, and helping to establish the brand in the triathlon market.”