World Cup turns 200 in Madrid

World Cup turns 200 in Madrid

By ITU Admin on 22/05/08 at 12:00 am

This Sunday Madrid will host the 200th world cup race in ITU history.  The world cup series began in 1991, two years after the first official ITU world championships in 1989.  The inaugural season of the world cup series comprised of 11 events in eight different countries.

It all started on May 5, 1991 in St. Croix on the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The elite men’s and women’s races were actually longer than today’s standard Olympic distance.  Instead, it was a 2-kilometer swim, 50-kilometer bike and 12-kilomter run and featured a $60,000 USD prize purse.  Mike Pigg of the U.S. won the men’s race just ahead of Australian Greg Welch.  Mark Allen, the ITU’s first world champion took the bronze.  Canadian Carol Montgomery was the first women’s world cup winner, taking gold 13 seconds ahead of American Karen Smyers. 

The 1st…
1991 St. Croix ITU Triathlon World Cup, Virgin Islands, USA - May 5, 1991
Women
1 Montgomery, Carol (CAN) 02:53:16
2 Smyers, Karen (USA) 02:53:29
3 Newby-Fraser, Paula (ZIM) 02:55:54

Men
1 Pigg, Mike (USA) 02:31:05
2 Welch, Greg (AUS) 02:31:05
3 Allen, Mark (USA) 02:34:21

Four years later, the world cup series was motoring on and growing steadily.  In 1994, the sport took a giant step forward when it was accepted into the Olympic Games in six years in Sydney.  The next year’s season finale, also in Sydney, marked the 50th world cup in ITU’s history.  It was celebrated with an Australian sweep as Brad Beven and Emma Carney both won the titles in convincing fashion.  Both would go on to stellar world cup careers, Beven collecting 17 titles and Carney racking up 19 wins.

The 50th…
1995 Sydney ITU Triathlon World Cup, Australia - October 15, 1995
Women
1 Carney, Emma (AUS) 02:00:51
2 Montgomery, Carol (CAN) 02:02:14
3 Hatfield, Janet (USA) 02:05:25

Men
1 Beven, Brad (AUS) 01:47:57
2 Stewart, Miles (AUS) 01:48:51
3 Llerandi, Nataniel (USA) 01:49:07

Not long after triathlon made its Olympic debut in Sydney, ITU celebrated its 100th world cup in Cancun, Mexico.  Brazilian Oscar Galindez and American Siri Lindley coasted to victory.  Matt Reed, then competing for New Zealand took the silver behind Galindez while Spain’s Ana Burgos and Pilar Hidalgo flanked both sides of Lindley on the podium.

The 100th…
2000 Cancun ITU Triathlon World Cup, Mexico - November 5, 2000
Women
1 Lindley, Siri (USA) 01:57:52
2 Burgos, Ana (ESP) 01:58:34
3 Hidalgo, Pilar (ESP) 02:00:21

Men
1 Galindez, Oscar (ARG) 01:44:12
2 Reed, Matthew (NZL) 01:44:52
3 Llanos, Hector (ESP) 01:45:00

Wondering what ranks as the most memorable world cup events?  Ask most ITU veterans and the answer is most likely Edmonton 2004.  Event organizers were lucky to get the women’s race completed before a massive storm rolled in.  Several inches of rain and golf ball-sized hail pelted the city, forcing the cancellation of the men’s race.  So while this weekend’s world cup in Madrid will be the 200th event in ITU history, it will only be the 199th men’s winner because no man was declared the winner in Edmonton in 2004!!

World Cup Records
Most wins: 19 (tied Emma Carney, Vanessa Fernandes)
Most world cup series titles: 4 (Brad Beven 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995)
Most world cup wins in a single season: 7 (Emma Carney in 1996)
Most consecutive years with at least one world cup win: 5 (tied Loretta Harrop 1998-2002, Vanessa Fernandes 2003-2007, Brad Beven 1991-1995)
Most world cups hosted: 29 (Japan)

Click here for the 2008 world cup calendar

Click here to watch exclusive world cup highlights



Salford, Great Britain (Photo: Janos Schmidt/ITU Media)



Aqaba, Jordan (Photo: Delly Carr/ITU Media)

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