By Paula Kim on 11/11/11 at 9:54 am
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is delighted to announce that the Triathlon Mixed Relay has been officially included on the Commonwealth Games programme starting in 2018, continuing its phenomenal growth. Today in St. Kitts & Nevis, the 70 member Commonwealth Games Associations present voted
unanimously in favour of including the Mixed Relay event at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly. The discipline may also be considered by the Organising Committee for the Glasgow 2014 Games.
ITU had lobbied for inclusion of Triathlon Mixed Relay in its goal to expand the hugely popular and innovative format of the sport. Today’s inclusion into the Commonwealth Games is seen as a great boost for the development of the sport across the 71 Commonwealth nations around the globe. Earlier this year, the format was also accepted onto the programme of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC member commented: “We are delighted the Commonwealth Games has embraced the Triathlon Mixed Relay. The event offers a wonderful opportunity for men and women to race together for one Commonwealth medal, signalling the importance of balanced development and performance in the sport.”
ITU will next present to the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee in hopes of having the Triathlon Mixed Relay as an optional addition to the sports programme of Glasgow 2014, the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games.
“We believe the discipline can offer the spectators, press and broadcasters a wonderful experience, while placing almost no additional costs on the organising committee as the same venue can be reused and no extra athletes are required,” Casado said.
The Triathlon Mixed Relay consists of four athletes: two men and two women, who each complete a short, intense triathlon of a 250m swim, 5km bike and 1.2km run in the order woman, man, woman, man. The new format has enjoyed phenomenal success since the discipline changed from the original single sex team format in 2009. The recent Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in the Olympic city of Lausanne, Switzerland boasted its largest field ever, with representation from all five continents.
According to research agency IFM, those World Championships—where Great Britain’s “Dream Team” cruised to gold—had over 571 million TV contacts, with over 93 hours of airtime and 253 broadcasts.
The recent successes strengthen ITU’s quest to get the Triathlon Mixed Relay event into the Olympic Games beginning with Rio 2016. The ITU is bidding to get the discipline added to the programme of the Olympic Games and will submit its official bid early next year to the IOC.