Commonwealth Games triathlon history at a glance
21 July 2014
With the Glasgow Commonwealth Games just about to celebrate its opening ceremonies, we take a quick look at some quick facts about triathlon’s participation in the major event.
Thursday, 24 July: Women - 11:00am, Men - 3:00pm
Saturday, 26 July: Mixed Relay - 12:30pm
Where to watch:
The course is free to spectators at Strathclyde County Park, so come down and hang out for the day. Cheer on your favourite athletes and show your Commonwealth pride! If you can’t make it to Glasgow, click here to see where you can watch the races on TV in your country. If you don’t tell your boss you’re streaming the races, we won’t either!
About the venue:
On the south eastern edge of Glasgow, Strathclyde Country Park will provide an excellent venue for Triathlon. This attractive course, using the loch for swimming and the surrounding network of roads and paths for the cycling and running phases, is already an established national triathlon venue.
This is triathlon’s third appearance on the Commonwealth Games programme. It was first officially added in 2002 and appeared again in 2006, but was a demonstration event in 1990 at the Auckland Commonwealth Games. The hometown favorites Erin Baker and Rick Wells delighted the crowed at that demonstration with wins in their own country.
New medal, first medal:
This Games is the first time Mixed Relay will be contested as a medal event. Mixed Relay consist of four men and women competing together, with each completing a mini triathlon. It is dynamic, it is nail biting and it is not to be missed on Saturday. The men’s and women’s individual events will also be the first medals awarded in Glasgow.
Commonwealth not so common:
Triathlon is quite prominent in Commonwealth countries, with 12 of triathlon’s 32 Olympic medallists having hailed from a Commonwealth. Currently four of the top 10 ranked men and six of the top 10 ranked women hail from Commonwealth nations.
2002 – Carol Montgomery (CAN), Simon Whitfield (CAN),
2006 – Emma Snowsill (AUS), Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
Previous Commonwealth countries on the podium:
Canada and Australia are the only two Commonwealths to have ever won a triathlon in both men’s and women’s races. New Zealand and Wales are the only other nations to have made the podium. On the start list, only Andrea Hewitt (NZL) has ever medalled at Commonwealth Games, which she did in 2006.
Triathlon was invented in the early 1970s by the San Diego Track Club, as an alternative workout to the rigours of track training. The club’s first event consisted of a 10km run, an 8km cycle and a 500 metre swim. Over the next decade, triathlon grew by leaps and bounds and soon gained recognition throughout the world. In early April 1989, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) was founded at the first Congress in Avignon, France, the very city that hosted the first official world championships on August 6 later that year.
Triathlon was awarded full medal Olympic status in 1994. The official distance for Olympic triathlon was set at a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer bike and a 10-kilometer run - taken from existing events in each discipline already on the Olympic programme. Since 1989, the sport has grown rapidly and now has over 160 affiliated National Federations around the world.