The Olympic sport triathlon
The refusal in 1989 to join the project of Juan Antonio Samaranch and the International Union of Modern Pentathlon and Biathlon swept away the hope of an Olympic triathlon in 1992 and 1996. The IOC president remains a defender of an Olympic triathlon, but technical obstacles prevent his accession to this status, such as:
- the number of participants (up to 40) and therefore the number of qualifying race numbers per country;
- also, as the president of the ITU acknowledges, the rules prohibiting aspiration-shelter (drafting), which are regularly flouted and difficult to control and penalize with equity, but which are part of the history of triathlon, the latter being originally an individual sport;
- finally, triathlon does not attract enough Media.
On September 3, 1994, after a long period of persuasion to support the idea of an Olympic triathlon, the media, economic and sporting future of this recent practice, the triathlon entered the Olympic program. The first Olympic triathlon event was held in 2000 in Sydney, Australia. It is a “short distance” version inspired by various disciplines already present in the Olympic program that is chosen as the support for the race: 1,500 meters of swimming, 40 kilometers of cycling and then 10 kilometers of running become the Olympic distance and this 1500/40/10 chain called Olympic distance (DO), becomes the official standard distance 20.
Since its international recognition and its participation in the Olympic Games, combined with the development of the federations, numerous international competitions have taken place every year. These competitions are most often declined at the continental and national levels by the federations. The world competitions organized by the ITU are in 2016 the followings:
- World Triathlon Championships (WTS))
- World Long distance triathlon Championships
- Mixed relay World Triathlon Championships
- Triathlon World Cup
- World Triathlon Championships cross
- Winter triathlon world championships
- Duathlon World Championships
- World Long distance duathlon Championships
- World Aqualon Championships
- World aqua bike championships
- Para triathlon World Championships
The general rules of engagement and competition are laid down by the International Triathlon Federation (IUT). They are defined by regional federations or Confederations according to the specific characteristics of the countries or continents, without being in contradiction with international regulations. In 2015, the ITU updated its regulations on all chain Sports under its management. A document of 196 pages details the rules of racing in each event as well as the distribution of prizes, the classifications of categories of triathletes or Para triathletes or the criteria of sports outfits, anti-doping controls, sanctions, and penalties, but also the accreditation of athletes or coaches. This general regulation applies to all federal competitions held throughout the world and to male and female competitors alike.
Classification of competitors
Regardless of the chain sports practice managed by the International Federation, athletes are classified in two statuses only and identical for men and women:
- the “elite” category, for professionals, allows competing at the international level in races dedicated to men and women or mixed. Their results are based only on general classification (scratch) by gender. Young elites under 23 years of age compete in the hope category, “
- the “age group” categories, for amateurs who compete in mixed competitions and benefit from a classification by age class and by additional gender, which can grant an honorary title. The age groups of children and young people change from one age group every two years to the first adult group starting at age 20. The adult classes evolve from one class every five years of additional age and are the senior classes from 20 to 40 years and veterans beyond 53.