In addition to the men’s and women’s elite races of the World Triathlon Hamburg, this weekend Hamburg will also host the thrilling ITU Mixed Relay World Championships, with teams of two men and two women from the same country shape up for the 300m swim, 6.6 km bike and 1.6 km run.
One of the most attractive events for spectators live and on television, the Mixed Relay continues to gain major attention, with almost 2 million viewers who watched the Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championship event on the German television last year, a competition which attracted more viewership than the Tour de France on the network.
ITU’s Triathlon Mixed Relay format consists of teams of four, compromised of two men and two women. Each athlete completes a mini triathlon of swimming, cycling and running, before tagging their teammate.
Depending on who lines up for each Federation, which won’t be revealed until a few hours before the race, a number of teams could feature on the podium. Last year’s winner France will be among the ones to follow during the race, with Great Britain, New Zealand and the US, as well as the Australians and Spaniards, trying to bring home the eighth edition of the Mixed Relay World’s title.
One of the most eagerly awaited competitions of the ITU calendar, the race is going to be thrilling from the very first minute. If you blink, you’ll miss it. The swim start is at “Kleine Alster” with only one lap to swim and athletes having to swim though the tunnel twice.
Then, they will go for two laps of a flat bike course with no noteworthy climbs to finish a total of 6.6 km on their bikes in a route technically demanding due to many changes of direction and tight turns.
Finally, athletes will head for two laps to run, also on a flat course, to then tapping their teammate for the relay.
In 2015, France, Australia and Great Britain grabbed the top three positions, with some impressive and strong teams and a stunning come from behind last leg that ended up with the French taking their first gold medal in the Mixed Relay Worlds. Great Britain will try to get their fourth title this year (won in 2011, 2012 and 2014).
Other countries who have won the Mixed Relay Worlds are Germany (2013) and Switzerland (2009 and 2010), with countries such as Hungary, Australia, Russia, and USA trying to grab their first gold medal.
The Hamburg ITU Mixed Relay World Championships will take place on Sunday 17 July at 14.35 pm. You can watch the race live at triathlonlive.tv