The triathlon mixed team relay is a new addition to top level triathlon racing and the World Championships are taking place at WTS Hamburg this weekend! Heather explains everything you need to know about the event and looks forward to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
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The mixed relay was first introduced at the World Championships back in 2009 in Iowa, USA. It was Switzerland who won this first title.
From 2013 the World Championships have been held in Hamburg, Germany and 2018 will be the sixth year in a row for the host city.
We have seen the mixed relay included in the last two Commonwealth games and the YOG’s and now it is set to make its debut on the largest stage of all, the Olympic Games. The IOC announced the inclusion of the triathlon team mixed relay in June 2017, it was added along with some other individual sports such as fencing, athletics and swimming who had also been piloting mixed gender team events.
Marisol Casado, President of ITU and IOC Member obviously welcomed this news and emphasised that it’s an event that demonstrates women and men can compete together but both are equally important to the success of the team.
Relays are nothing new to triathlon. The team mixed relay however is significantly different. There must be two men and two women, all four must do all three sports in the typical triathlon order of swim bike run. The women always go first and and third, the men second and fourth.
To keep the excitement in this new format of racing the distances have been kept to a 300m swim, 7k bike and a 1500m run. These distances can vary slightly from course to course when you add in the transitions and relay handovers but the athletes are usually racing for somewhere around 20 minutes each and the total race is over in less than 90. It is fast and furious and expect the lead to change numerous times throughout.
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