Women's triathlon will be the first medal of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
The first gold medal of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be won in a sprint format Triathlon, announced at the Southport Broadwater Parklands today.
For the first time in Commonwealth Games history, sprint courses will be utilised for the Individual and Paratriathlon races, set to provide fast and exciting racing in an iconic GC2018 setting for athletes, spectators and a global television audience.
The women’s and men’s Individual Triathlon races will be held on Thursday 5 April, with the women’s Triathlon having the honour of being the first medal event at GC2018 followed shortly after by the men’s race.
The inaugural Paratriathlon at a Commonwealth Games and an exciting Mixed Team Relay will round out the Triathlon program on 7 April.
The sprint format for the Individual and Paratriathlon will comprise a 750m swim leg, 20km bike leg and 5km run leg, while the Mixed Team Relay will feature four athletes each completing a 250m swim, 7km bike and 1.5km run.
The northern end of the Southport Broadwater Parklands will host the start, finish and transitions for the Triathlon, with the bike and run legs to head north along a flat, technical and scenic route.
GC2018 Triathlon Ambassador Ashleigh Gentle, fellow Gold Coast triathlon star Matthew Hauser and Australian paratriathletes Emily Tapp and Nic Beveridge attended the announcement today, all expressing their excitement over the sprint format on the picturesque and spectator-friendly course.
Those lucky enough to have secured tickets to the Triathlon will have great seats at the Southport Broadwater Parklands venue with exclusive access to the race starts, finishes, transitions and other amenities.
For those who missed out on tickets, the public space and parks which line the Broadwater in Labrador and Biggera Waters, some of the best and most scenic spectator vantage points at the Games, will provide a great opportunity to witness the exciting bike and run legs.
Minister for the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said: “The Triathlon will demonstrate Queensland’s love of outdoor sport to visitors for the Commonwealth Games and a huge global television and social media audience. The course looks fantastic and I can’t think of a better sport to feature on the opening day of competition to showcase the Games to the world. The first medal event of the Games will be the women’s Triathlon which will bring a huge focus on the sport of Triathlon from fans and the world’s media.”
International Triathlon Union President and IOC member, Marisol Casado, said: “We are thrilled to have such an excellent course for our athletes once again on the Gold Coast, an event that has been on our World Triathlon Series calendar for many years, and which will host the Grand Final in 2018, only six months after the Commonwealth Games.
“Furthermore, the new sprint format for the Triathlon at GC2018 will be exciting for both athletes and fans. It has been designed to world-class standards and applies many of the successful and popular elements of the courses used for this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series event and the annual Gold Coast Triathlon.”
GC2018 Triathlon Ambassador Ashleigh Gentle: “We have never seen the sprint format in triathlon at a major Games. It is going to be exciting for the athletes and spectators alike, as we will be showcasing a whole new level of speed and dynamic racing”
English triathlete Jonathan Brownlee (Glasgow 2014 individual silver medallist), said: “I’m very motivated to succeed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. I’ve been Commonwealth Games relay champion in Glasgow, I’m Commonwealth Games silver medallist in Glasgow but I really want the individual gold. I have a lot of seconds, second in the Olympics, third in the Olympics, second at Commonwealth Games so hopefully now it will give me a really good chance to win a really big event.”
Australian Para Triathlete Bill Chaffey said: “With the Commonwealth Games triathlon not just in Australia but here on the Gold Coast, which is in my own backyard where so many of my friends & family will be watching, I am anxious but very excited. My first international competition was here in 2009 where I won my first World Championship. Hopefully I can have the same result in what may be my last international race.”