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Triathlon New Zealand is thrilled at the announcement overnight from the International Triathlon Union (ITU) that triathlon will gain a further foothold on the world stage with a mixed relay to be included on the programme at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The ITU released their decision overnight (click here for link to story), saying that this news has come four years ahead of schedule. The format was also recently accepted onto the programme of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, and was placed on the programme of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore with great success.
Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh is delighted at the announcement.
"This is great news for the sport and for Triathlon New Zealand. This was expected as the ITU has made it clear they see teams racing as playing a very important role in the future of the sport, this will aid their cause to have a team's race included at the Rio Olympic Games. Given our depth in the sport we obviously see it as a medal opportunity, the HP team will continue their recent work in this area to give our teams every chance of success in 2014 and beyond.
"The teams racing format is an exciting and quick fire one that has the potential to help the sport go to the next level. Tri NZ has already seen the potential here in New Zealand with the inclusion of a team's race at the 2012 National Champs in Wellington and will offer a team's race option for all participants at the upcoming ITU Barfoot & Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final in October. Various regions and clubs have also run successful teams events for some time, in particular Nelson comes to mind as a very popular annual event. Countries will need to adapt as is has a cultural impact on HP programmes, where the sport has been traditionally individual focused, now there is a team dynamic to be considered.”
Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC member, commented: “We are delighted the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee has embraced the Triathlon Mixed Relay. Triathlon is on currently on a high in the United Kingdom, and the Mixed Relay will offer an extra opportunity for the people of Glasgow to watch another thrilling and unpredictable event live on their city streets.”
Triathlon Mixed Relay consists of teams of four athletes: two men and two women, who will compete in the order of woman, man, woman, man. Each athlete completes a super-sprint triathlon of swimming, biking and running, before handing over to their next team mate. The first team across the finish line is the winner.
For the full release and further information on Mixed Relay racing, click here