Triathlon Mixed relay has been officially included in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Triathlon Mixed Relay's inclusion is sure to boost the sport's profile

The ITU have released the following details about the event’s inclusion:

Triathlon Mixed Relay -ITU’s exciting mixed gender format – continued its rapid growth today, with the announcement by the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Committee that it would be included on their sports programme for 2014.

The debut of the Mixed Relay comes four years earlier than anticipated after the discipline was voted onto the Commonwealth Games programme starting in 2018, at the Commonwealth Games General Assembly in St. Kitts & Nevis last November.

ITU then presented to the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee in hopes of having the Triathlon Mixed Relay as an optional addition to the sports programme of Glasgow 2014, the 20th edition of the Commonwealth Games. Today’s inclusion on the Glasgow programme is seen as a great boost for the development of the sport across the 71 Commonwealth nations around the globe.

The format was also recently accepted onto the programme of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, and was placed on the programme of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore with great success.

Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC member, commented: “We are delighted the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee has embraced the Triathlon Mixed Relay. Triathlon is on currently on a high in the United Kingdom, and the Mixed Relay will offer an extra opportunity for the people of Glasgow to watch another thrilling and unpredictable event live on their city streets.”

Triathlon Mixed Relay consists of teams of four athletes: two men and two women, who will compete in the order of woman, man, woman, man. Each athlete completes a super-sprint triathlon of swimming, biking and running, before handing over to their next team mate. The first team across the finish line is the winner.

The Mixed Relay is a stadium event focussed around the transition zone, with the athletes retuning on aver­age every five to eight minutes creating a special atmosphere and memorable moments for committed fans and television viewers alike. The short distances, and numerous transitions results in non-stop action from start to finish, with the possibility of upsets at any stage.

This action is proven to appeal to a young, entertainment-hungry audience. The recent Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in the Olympic city of Lausanne, Switzerland boasted its largest field ever, with representation from all five continents.  According to research agency IFM, those World Championships-where Great Britain’s “Dream Team” cruised to gold-had over 571 million TV contacts, with over 93 hours of airtime and 253 broadcasts.

Dr. Sarah Springman, President of the British Triathlon Federation and Vice-President of ITU said, “ITU is delighted by the forward thinking of the CGF and the Glasgow 2014 Organising Committee. Commonwealth athletes have, to date, won a great many Olympic and World Championship medals and we can expect fierce competition from the best triathletes in the world for this exciting inaugural event.”

The addition of the Mixed Relay is seen to have a minimal impact on the overall Games budget for Glasgow. The discipline allows the same venue to be reused at very little extra cost, and minimal changes and the shorter distances means that the event will have less impact on the city and require fewer and shorter road closures.

This latest success seems to strengthen ITU’s quest to get the Triathlon Mixed Relay event into the Olympic Games beginning with Rio 2016. ITU is bidding to get the discipline added to the programme of the Olympic Games and has already submitted a bid to the IOC.

British Triathlon added the following statement:

As the sport continues to grow in popularity, the Triathlon Mixed Relay  provides an attractive blend of fast-paced action and frequent lead changes, making it both exciting to participate in and to watch.   Each relay team member completes a  swim, bike and run before tagging the next team member, the race itself taking around and hour in total to complete.

British Triathlon has worked hard in support of inclusion of the Triathlon Mixed Relay and in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, Sport Scotland, Event Scotland and triathlonscotland, committed to host an annual national Super Series elite race at Strathclyde Park since 2007, when the Commonwealth Games were awarded to Glasgow.   Inclusion of the Triathlon Mixed Relay is a great addition to the programme of events.

On hearing the news Alistair Brownlee, reigning world champion said:  “It’s great news that team racing will be included in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. We missed out on the opportunity to compete in 2010 because triathlon wasn’t included in Delhi, but now we have the potential to race as individuals and as part of a team against some of the strongest triathlon nations in the world.”

Sarah Springman, President of British Triathlon commented:  “I am absolutely thrilled to hear that Commonwealth athletes will have the chance to compete in the first ever Commonwealth Triathlon Mixed Relay in Glasgow in 2014. Our sport is enormously grateful to the Boards of Glasgow 2014 and the Commonwealth Games Federation for their trust in our sport! We are also delighted to have such a prominent place in the programme.

It is extremely exciting that Great Britain could be represented by as many as seven teams, with the home nations led by hosts Scotland up against the English, Welsh, Northern Irish and hopefully teams from Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man as well as athletes from many Commonwealth nations around the world.”

Endorsing the announcement, triathlonscotland President Geoff Earl said:  “This is fantastic news for triathlon and fantastic news for Scotland and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The triathlon mixed relay is fast, exciting and ideally suited to providing great spectator entertainment. Athletes, fans and those new to triathlon will be in for an exhilarating day of competition.

The faith shown in triathlon by Glasgow 2014 in accepting this new format onto its programme reflects the desire by both parties to ensure that Glasgow 2014 will be a Games that will excite, motivate and leave a legacy for the whole of Scotland and the Commonwealth at large.

Glasgow 2014 will be the first time that this event has been showcased at this level and this justifies the partnership that triathlon has had with Strathclyde Park over a number of years. Our long term investment supported by North Lanarkshire Council, Event Scotland and Sport Scotland means that the venue is now one of the premier triathlon sites in the UK.”

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