Triathlon at the Summer Olympics

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Triathlon at the Summer Olympics
Triathlon pictogram.svg
Governing body ITU
Events 2 (men: 1; women: 1)
Games
1896 1900 1904 1908 1912 1920
1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952
1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976
1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000
2004 2008 2012 2016
Medalists

Triathlon had its Summer Olympics debut at the 2000 Games, in Sydney, and has been contested since then. It is governed by the International Triathlon Union.

History[edit]

The 2000 Summer Olympics saw the first appearance of the triathlon. 48 women and 52 men competed in separate triathlons. The distances used were the "international" or "standard" ones, with a 1.5 km (0.93 mi) swim, 40 km (25 mi) cycle, and a 10 km (6.2 mi) run. The 2004 triathlon was identical to the first in distance, but the 100-athlete quota was evened between 50 women and 50 men. The quota was further increased to 55 women and 55 men for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and remained the same for London 2012. In London, the women's triathlon took place on Saturday 4 August, with the men's event on Tuesday 7 August.

Medal table[edit]

Twelve nations have split the twenty four medals awarded in the triathlon events.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Switzerland (SUI) 2 0 2 4
2  Australia (AUS) 1 2 2 5
3  New Zealand (NZL) 1 1 1 3
4  Canada (CAN) 1 1 0 2
 Germany (GER) 1 1 0 2
6  Great Britain (GBR) 1 0 1 2
7  Austria (AUT) 1 0 0 1
8  Portugal (POR) 0 1 0 1
 Spain (ESP) 0 1 0 1
 Sweden (SWE) 0 1 0 1
11  Czech Republic (CZE) 0 0 1 1
 United States (USA) 0 0 1 1
Total 8 8 8 24

Qualification[edit]

Qualification spots in the triathlon are allotted to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) rather than to individual athletes.

There are five ways for NOCs to earn spots in the triathlon. NOCs can earn a maximum of three spots, though only nine nations may earn that many. Nations beyond that may earn only two spots. If a nation would be the tenth or later to earn a third spot, it loses that spot.

The first five spots go to the winners of the five regional qualifying tournaments. Three more spots go to the top three triathletes of the most recent Triathlon World Championships, though any athlete that won a regional tournament is skipped in that determination. The next 39 places go to the NOCs of those athletes highest in the ITU ranking (again, skipping those athletes that have already qualified in the first two methods). A forty-eighth place is awarded to the host country if it has not already received a spot, or to the next highest ranked athlete if the host country has. The final two places are awarded by the Tripartite Commission.

Competition[edit]

The Olympic triathlon is composed of two medal events, one for men and the other for women. Both use the same distances of 1.5 km, 40 km, and 10 km. Mass starts are used and drafting is allowed during the cycling phase.

Nations[edit]

The following nations have taken part in the triathlon competition.

Nation 00 04 08 Total
Argentina M B - 2
Australia B B B 3
Austria M B B 3
Belgium W W M 3
Bermuda - M W 2
Brazil B B B 3
Canada B B B 3
Chile M - W 2
China W W B 3
Colombia W W - 2
Costa Rica W - - 1
Czech Republic B B B 3
Denmark B M M 3
Estonia - M M 2
France B B B 3
Germany B B B 3
Great Britain B B B 3
Greece M M W 3
Hong Kong - M B 2
Hungary B B B 3
Ireland - - W 1
Italy B W B 3
Jamaica W - - 1
Japan B B B 3
Kazakhstan M B M 3
Luxembourg W W B 3
Mexico - M B 2
Netherlands B W B 3
Netherlands Antilles M - - 1
New Zealand B B B 3
Poland - - B 1
Portugal - W B 2
Russia W B B 3
Slovakia - - M 1
South Africa B B W 3
Spain B B B 3
Sweden M - W 2
Switzerland B B B 3
Syria - - M 1
Ukraine M M B 3
United States B B B 3
Venezuela M M - 2
Zimbabwe M - M 2
Nations 34 33 36  
Year 00 04 08

Key: M - Men only; W - Women only; B - Both competitions.

Records[edit]

Because of the variability of courses, official Olympic records are not kept for the triathlon.

Alistair Brownlee holds the unofficial record for men having set the best time at the fourth Olympic Triathlon in his home country in London. The top 11 finishers in that race broke the previous Olympic best time. Emma Snowsill's result in Beijing was the best women's result to date.

Record progression

Current record holders in bold.

Gender Olympian Time Olympics Course
Men Alistair Brownlee, Great Britain 1:46:25.00 2012 Hyde Park, London
Women Emma Snowsill, Australia 1:58:27.66 2008 Triathlon Venue, Beijing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]