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Sunday, 11 February 2007 07:58

Triathlon - History

 Triathlete crosses finishing line
The triathlon made its Olympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Games

In 1920, the French newspaper L'Auto reported on a competition called Les Trois Sports with a 3km run, 12km bike ride and a crossing of the river Marne.

Reports on similar races in France followed but the sport soon slowed down and virtually disappeared. It re-emerged in 1974 when a group of friends began training together in southern California. Among them were runners, swimmers and cyclists and their training sessions soon turned into informal races. The club's first event consisted of a 500m swim, an 8km cycle and a 10km run.

Over the next decade, triathlon grew in popularity and gained recognition throughout the world. In 1989, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) was founded in Avignon, France, and the first official world championships were held.

The official distance for triathlon was set at a 1,500m swim, a 40km cycle and a 10km run. These distances are the longest for each of the three disciplines featured on the Olympic programme. This standard distance is used for the ITU World Cup series and the Olympic Games.

Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Australia. The sport will make its first Asian Games appearance at the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006.


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