Taupō has been named a finalist to host the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon.

Taupō joins Perth as a finalist to host the event which will rotate to the Oceania region in 2020.

It will be a two-day event, similar to the upcoming 2018 edition in South Africa, with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.

Ironman chief executive Andrew Messick said many cities were considered for the event, however, Perth and Taupō separated themselves.

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"We are excited about these two finalists. The Ironman 70.3 triathlon series has grown exponentially over the past several years, with the world championship featuring the best athletes from around the world.

"We feel that either one of these cities will create a world-class event by providing beautiful and challenging courses and outstanding hospitality for our athletes and their families and friends."

Ironman officials are visiting the two locations over the next week as the selection process continues.

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. The 2015 race was held in Europe for the first time, in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria.

In 2016 it shifted to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time to Queensland, Australia. In 2017, the world championship returned to the United States with the host city Chattanooga in Tennessee, where it first became a two-day event.

Port Elizabeth in Nelson Mandela Bay will host this year's edition on September 1 and 2.

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Next year the event will move to Nice, France.

Prior to 2014 it was held in Henderson, Nevada and Clearwater, Florida.

Qualification for the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will begin in July 2019 with about 190,000 registered athletes from around the world expected to compete at any of the more than 120 events in the global series.