By Merryn Sherwood on 03/01/13 at 6:06 am
The Olympics were obviously a major highlight of the 2012 ITU year, but overall it was a huge year for triathlon’s development worldwide - with a large number of firsts. Here we try to capture just some of the moments that made it a great year, in easy to digest bits.
6 - The number of countries on the top of the podium in this year’s elite ITU world championship races in Auckland, Sweden, Great Britain, Japan, South Africa and Australia. It was also the first ITU World Championship ever for Japan and South Africa, with Fumika Matsumoto and Wian Sullwald’s win’s in the junior women’s and junior men’s events respectively. Great Britain was the only nation to win two titles, with Jonathan Brownlee and Non Stanford taking the elite men’s and U23 women’s titles respectively. The other titles went to Sweden’s Lisa Norden (elite women) and Australia’s Aaron Royle (U23men).
9 – World Cup races in eight different countries - Australia, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Hungary, Colombia, Spain and South Korea. Mexico was the only country to host two events, with Huatulco and Cancun both on the 2012 schedule.
14 – First-time World Cup winners in the 2012 season, including France’s Laurent Vidal in Mooloolaba, France’s David Hauss and Canada’s Kathy Tremblay in Ishigaki, Belgium’s Simon de Cuyper and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy in Huatulco, the USA’s Lukas Verzbicas in Banyoles, Kyle Jones and Lauren Campbell in Edmonton, France’s Pierre Le Corre in the new sprint heat format in Tiszaujvaros, Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales and Jodie Stimpson in Guatape and Mexico’s Sergio Sarmiento and Great Britain’s Katie Hewison in Cancun. Overall there were 11 different nations who claimed ITU World Cup wins in 2012, with Bermuda’s Duffy the first from her nation to win a World Cup title. Click here for the full results
14 - Elite ITU World Champions crowned in 2012. Aside from the elite world titles won by Lisa Norden and Jonathan Brownlee, there were another six World Championship events – which means another 12 elite men’s and women’s winners. The first world championships of the year were in Finland where Russia’s Pavel Andreev and the Czech Republic’s Helena Erbenova took the Winter Triathlon titles across a run, mountain bike and ski – all on snow. The next were the Cross Triathlon Worlds with a swim, mountain bike and cross country run. South Africa’s Conrad Stoltz and Great Britain’s Lesley Paterson were the winners there. Australia’s Chris McCormack added an ITU long distance world championship to his 1997 world title with a win in Vitoria-Gasteiz, while Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen won her second long distance world title. In Zofingen, Belgium’s Joerie Vansteelant took his fourth long distance duathlon world title and Sweden’s Eva Nystrom her first. In Nancy, Spain’s Emilio Martin and Australia’s Felicity Sheedy-Ryan recorded their debut duathlon world title wins. In Auckland, Slovakia’s Richard Varga and New Zealand’s Nicky Samuels took the 2012 Aquathlon titles.
33 – Different nations hosted ITU development courses this year, including coaching courses, technical official seminars and ITU event organisers, as well as coaches and technical officials’ community level seminars. These countries include the Philipines, Estonia, Fiji, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Iraq, the USA, Slovakia, Peru, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Sweden, Turkey, Edmonton, Holland, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Brazil, Cameroon, Bolivia, China, Tahiti, France, Mexico, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Spain, Great Britain, Morocco, Malaysia and Madagascar. Click here for more on ITU development
39 - Different National Olympic Committees represented in the triathlon events at the London 2012 Olympic Games - a record. Ecuador, Mauritius, Monaco, Republic of Korea, and Slovenia each qualified triathletes for the first time in Olympic history, with Elizabeth Bravo, Fabienne St Louis, Herve Banti, Min Ho Heo and Mateja Simic the athletes to make the debut for their respective NOCs.
109 – Paratriathetes across the six divisions at this year’s Paratriathlon World Championships – the biggest field in the discipline’s history. Great Britain finished on top of the overall paratriathlon medal tally with five golds. Click here for the full Paratriathlon wrap
3000 – Age-group athletes competed in the 2012 ITU age-group World Championships in Auckland, making it the largest ever world championships in ITU history. Click here for more
1:59:48 – The official time for both gold medallist Spirig and silver medallist Lisa Norden at the London 2012 Olympic Games, showing the closeness, before the photo finish revealed what both athletes had thought – Spirig had just edged Norden in the race for Olympic glory. It also helped triathlon land on front pages around the world and captured the attention of social media, the image of the photo-finish below was re-tweeted 1221 times.