The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the competition cchedule for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, confirming the men’s triathlon event will take place on Monday 27th July 2020 with the women’s race on the following day. The highly anticipated Olympic debut of the triathlon mixed relay will take place on Saturday 1st August 2020.
The individual events will be raced over the standard Olympic distances (1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run). Racking will get under way early morning in the setting of Odaiba Marine Park. The Mixed Relay teams will bring together two men and two women from the same country, each completing a mini-triathlon before tagging their team mate. The team event also takes place at Odaiba Marine Park, where each of the four athletes will complete a 300m swim, 7.5km bike and 1.5km run.
“We are extremely satisfied with the dates of our events, following months of hard work taking into consideration all the requirements of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and our Sport Department,” said International Triathlon Union (ITU) President and IOC member, Marisol Casado. “We have agreed competition dates that will fit extremely well into global television schedules, and we are confident of incredible engagement with the spectators, both on-site and watching on TVs around the world.
“It is perfect that the Mixed Relay, one of the most thrilling and vibrant spectacles in sport, will make its Olympic debut on ‘Super Saturday’,” she added.
Triathlon was first included in the Olympic Games programme at Sydney 2000, but Tokyo 2020 will mark a notable debut for the Mixed Relay, with the added team dynamic expected to capture the imaginations of sports fans around the world. ITU notes that the global profile of triathlon has been increasing consistently year after year and, with ‘one more gold medal ready to be contested [in the Mixed Relay], the competition in the land of the rising sun is set to be hotter than ever.’
A total of 110 athletes – 55 men and 55 women – will compete in Tokyo 2020, with the relay teams being formed of countries with a minimum 2 women and 2 men athletes qualified, based on the various ways to achieve qualification.
The 30 Olympic triathlon medals awarded to date have been split between 13 countries, emphasising the strength of the sport worldwide. The men’s gold has twice been won by Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee, at London 2012 and Rio 2016, and accompanying him on the podium on both occasions was his brother, Jonathan Brownlee. A bronze medallist in London, the younger of the Brownlee siblings then picked up silver in Rio to complete a famous family one-two.
In the women’s event, Swiss athletes have twice taken home the gold, in 2000 and 2012. Of those, Nicola Spirig is the only female triathlete to have won two Olympic medals, taking the gold in an incredibly tight London 2012 finale ahead of Sweden’s Lisa Norden and then the silver at Rio 2016, finishing behind the USA’s Gwen Jorgensen.
The IOC Executive Board approved the competition schedule by session for Tokyo 2020, offering up an action-packed programme that will feature a record 33 sports and 339 events and will run from 24 July until 9 August 2020.
Ahead of the Opening Ceremony, preliminary events will kick off with football and softball matches on 22 July 2020, and with rowing and archery events on the day of the Opening Ceremony itself. The following day — Day 1 of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 — will feature events in 21 different sports, including shooting, table tennis, judo, badminton, gymnastics, tennis and cycling.
Tokyo 2020 aims to appeal additionally to more youthful and urban generations. Basketball 3×3, skateboarding, and surfing — all new events added to the Tokyo 2020 programme — will start on the first weekend and feature throughout the Games.
August 1st will be ‘Super Saturday’, with a number of medal events scheduled to be held on that day, including events featuring for the first time in the Olympic Games, such as the Triathlon Mixed Relay, judo mixed team event, and shooting trap mixed team event. It will be an action-packed Day 8 featuring 23 sports.
Tokyo 2020 took a holistic approach when compiling the schedule, taking into account the technical rules and regulations of the various international federations, gender balance, the popularity of individual sports in Japan, operational considerations, athletes’ experience & well-being, and the global TV audience.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said “I believe the Tokyo 2020 Games will generate more enthusiasm than ever. Starting with a softball match in Fukushima two days before the opening of the Games, until the men’s marathon on the final day, a record 33 sports and 339 events will be packed into the two weeks of the Games.”
The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will use a total of 42 venues, including 24 existing, ten temporary and eight new permanent venues. These will include three venues in Fukushima, Ibaraki and Miyagi prefectures, which were among those most affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of tTriathlon and all related multisport disciplines including duathlon, aquathlon, cross triathlon and winter triathlon. ITU was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France. It has maintained its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, since then and also has offices in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Madrid, Spain.
ITU now has 169 affiliated National Federations on five continents and is the youngest International Federation in the Olympic Games. Triathlon was awarded Olympic Games status in 1994 and made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000. Triathlon is also featured in the Asian Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. Paratriathlon was accepted into the Paralympic Games in 2010 and made its Paralympic debut in Rio 2016.
ITU adds that it is committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high-performance level.