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Rob Barel (born 23 December 1957 in Amsterdam) was originally a swimmer, but became a man of many firsts in the sport of Triathlon.He won the first ETU European Championships in 1985 (Immenstadt), and followed this up with repeat wins in 1986, and 1987. He then competed in the first ITU World Championships in Avignon, 1989 - finishing 5th - and then went on to come 3rd in the ITU World Championship in 1992 (Muskoka)Barel won the first ITU Long Distance Championships in 1994 (Nice), and competed for the Netherlands in the first Olympic triathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics, taking forty-third place with a total time of 1:55:36.69 at the age of 42. He also crowned his career by coming first in the European Cross Triathlon Championship in 2008.