The Olympic sport of Triathlon consists of swimming, cycling and running.

Did you know?

The world’s leading competitors take less than one hour 50 minutes to complete an Olympic-distance triathlon.
London hosts Europe’s largest triathlon at ExCeL – a London 2012 venue.
The first Olympic Triathlon champions were Brigitte McMahon (Switzerland) and Simon Whitfield (Canada).

Key facts

Venue: Hyde Park
Dates: Saturday 4 and Tuesday 7 August
Gold medals up for grabs: 2
Athletes: 110 (55 men, 55 women)

Triathlon: a history of the sport 

Triathlon is thought to be the fastest-growing individual sport in the UK.

It attracts a wide range of athletes because it combines three different disciplines.

The sport developed from the fitness craze that swept California in the early 1970s, and the first race was held in San Diego in 1974.

For more information on the history of the sport visit the IOC website.

Triathlon at the Games

Triathlon made its Games debut at Sydney 2000, where half a million spectators lined the streets to watch the event. Since then, the sport has continued to grow in popularity around the world, producing world class athletes on every continent.

How the competition runs

The Olympic Triathlon starts with a 1,500m swim in open water. Competitors then cycle 40km before finishing with a 10km run. The gaps between the stages are known as ‘transitions’.

These often prove crucial to the end result as athletes gain or lose time on their rivals by taking off their wetsuit and putting on their shoes.

Jargon buster

  • Drafting: Cycling in a pack of riders as opposed to riding alone.
  • Pontoon: The floating apparatus that triathletes dive off to begin the swimming stage.
  • Wet suit: An all-in-one body suit that can be worn if the water is between 14 and 20 degrees. Above 20 degrees wetsuits are not allowed.

Get involved

Triathlon is a sport for people of all ages and backgrounds, and – with races held over a wide range of distances – there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

The British Triathlon Federation’s Home Nations – Triathlon England, triathlonscotland and Welsh Triathlon – oversee a network of clubs, coaches, volunteers and races across the country.

For more information, contact the British Triathlon Federation, the National Governing Body of the sport in the United Kingdom.

Also visit the International Triathlon Union.

triathlon start-beijing 2008

~ by superbowlnyc on February 20, 2011.

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