The ITU have announced that the triathlon mixed relays have been included on the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee announced that this new event joined a selection of other new events, including basketball 3×3, archery mixed team event, 4×400 mixed relays in athletics, BMX freestyle park, Madison in cycling, team events in fencing, mixed team event in judo, mixed doubles in table tennis and 4x100m medley mixed relay in swimming.
In August 2020, the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo will host the third triathlon event during the next Olympics, giving triathletes the possibility to earn another Olympic medal. The mixed relays will represent a catalyst on the promotion of women athletes within all NOCs around the world, as it completely fulfils the Agenda 2020 requirements.
Marisol Casado, President of ITU and IOC Member, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this decision. We’ve been pushing for the Mixed Relays to be included in the programme for quite a long time, as it is an event that gives the sport something very important: a sense of team building. But most important, is an event that demonstrates that women and men can compete together but both are equally important to the success of the team.”
IOC President, Mr Thomas Bach, said: “The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 programme last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic programme. I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women”.
The mixed relays is one of the most thrilling events in triathlon, with teams of two men and two women completing each a short-course triathlon (300m swim, 8km bike, 2km run) before tagging off to their teammate to take over. With its rapid and unpredictable format, athletes love it and spectators enjoy it both onsite and on television, making it one of the most spectacular formats of the circuit.
With no extra athletes needed to be added to the Olympic Programme, and lots of extra excitement ensured, the mixed relays are also backed by triathlon fans and event organisers around the world.
“It will be amazing if we could have two opportunities to get a medal at the Olympic Games,” said Olympic champ Gwen Jorgensen.