Buenos Aires celebrates 1 year to go to the Youth Olympic Games
The setting up of the Olympic rings at the downtown obelisk of the Argentine capital city marked the beginning of the final countdown for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, a multi-sports celebration that will gather almost 4000 elite athletes from 206 countries on October 6-18 next year and that will showcase, as in the two previous editions, elite triathlon races for Men and Women, as well as a Mixed Relays competition.
“We are absolutely delighted to have, once again, three triathlon events in the Youth Olympic Games. For us, who are always focused on developing our sport and identifying new talents across the world, having top class events as the Youth Olympic Games is the perfect opportunity not only to show our sport and our athletes to the world but also to give our young and talented stars an opportunity to shine worldwide. I am confident that Buenos Aires 2018 will be an excellent event and the athletes, the organization and the atmosphere that we will all experience in Argentina next year will be fantastic”, said ITU President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado.
“We are very proud that Argentina will receive almost 4000 athletes, their families, and their companions. We will be the center of attention of the world during those two weeks”, added Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Mayor of Buenos Aires. On August 6 next year, the Obelisk will also be part of the opening ceremony of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, that will be the first of its kind to be held outdoors. Following the idea of making the Games inclusive, the 32 disciplines included in Buenos Aires 2018 sports program will be distributed between four parks around the city: the Youth Olympic Park (in the south), the Green Park (on the north), the Urban Park (on the east) and Tecnópolis Park (on the west).
A total of 64 triathletes, all born between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2002, will compete in the triathlon races in the Youth Olympic Games. Buenos Aires 2018 will be the first Olympic event to have the same number of male and female athletes, fostering gender equality, as ITU has been doing since its early stages as an International Federation. Therefore, 32 Women and 32 Men will compete in the streets of Buenos Aires. For the Mixed Relays race, Continental teams of four athletes -two male, two female- will be formed, according to the athletes’ finishing position in the individual event.
The first team will be composed of the first two men and first two women from the continent with the best finishing positions, the second team will be composed of the next two men and first two women, etc. If an athlete is unable to compete in the Mixed Relay event due to injury, the vacant team’s place rolls down to the next athlete from the respective continent.
To qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, all athletes will have to participate in at least one Qualifying event. There will be one Continental YOG Qualifying Event held in each of the five continents between 1 January 2018 and 16 July 2018.
Triathlon has been part of the Youth Olympic Games since its first edition, in Singapore 2010, where not only the Elite races but the Mixed Relays was one of the most thrilling events of the Games. With men and women competing alongside each other, and athletes from different National Olympic Committees joining forces together, the mixed relay was one of the most innovative events at the YOG. Once the action got underway, it also proved to be one of the most exciting and engaging as well, and the same thing happened in the second edition of the YOG, Nanjing 2014.
In the individual races, expect to see some of the Junior stars of triathlon battling in Buenos Aires, and make sure to follow up with the top finishers. They surely will be among the great stars of triathlon in the future, as proved to happen with British Ben Dijkstra (gold in Nanjing 2014) or Australian Britanny Dutton, the winner also in Nanjing 2014.