Could The Eliminator be coming to a future Olympics
World Triathlon seeking additional medal events
Tokyo 2021 will see the debut of the Triathlon Mixed Relay format at the Olympic Games, but if the governing body of the sport, World Triathlon, has its way, it doesn’t see that as the final addition to the programme for the swim / bike / run format.
On a day in which competitive breakdancing (‘Breaking’) was confirmed as a new medal event at Paris 2024, news that the medal quota and athlete number for triathlon in Paris will remain exactly as per Tokyo, with three medal events and a total of 110 athletes.
Most recently closely associated with the Super League Triathlon series, World Triathlon says it will “will incorporate across the upcoming seasons the proposed Eliminator format, so that we can gain more momentum and experience and prove to the IOC that this will be a great addition to the schedule…”
Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Super League Triathlon in 2018, it will be interesting to see how, or if at all, World Triathlon and Super League Triathlon work together on a project which could potentially see a new format of triathlon accepted into the Olympic Games.
Having recently been re-elected at President of World Triathlon, there’s a very close link to the questions I raised there – will the strategy be to partner with others in the sport such as Super League, or “re-establish World Triathlon as the undisputed leader of triathlon”, which was the mandate of her opponent in that election, Denmark’s Mads Freund?
That one will take years to answer, but will be fascinating to observe.
IOC confirms 3 triathlon medal events and 110 triathletes for Paris 2024 Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has today approved the event programme and athlete quotas for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, in which triathlon will again have three medal events – the individual men, individual women and mixed relay – while the athlete quota will also stay the same, with 110 athletes in total.
“World Triathlon had requested that the IOC include two more medal events, as well as increasing the athlete quota, as we strongly believe that triathlon can have an even greater presence in the Olympics but, after many discussions with the IOC Sport department, we understand that this move was just not feasible right now, with most sports reducing the number of athletes that will compete in Paris”, explained World Triathlon President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado.
“We are happy and proud that the Mixed Relay will be staying in the Olympic programme, and we will continue working so that we can have more medal events, and increase the athlete quota, for Los Angeles 2028. We will incorporate across the upcoming seasons the proposed Eliminator format, so that we can gain more momentum and experience and prove to the IOC that this will be a great addition to the schedule, with its modern, fast and furious format that will attract millions of fans, both on-site and watching on TV, to the Olympics. We look forward to working with the IOC to increase the athlete quota, so as to give more National Federations the chance of sending their triathletes to the Olympics,” she added.
The IOC received petitions for 41 additional medal events to be included in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but the Programme Commission decided that no IF will increase their medal events, and to make a reduction in the overall number of events, with a final programme of 329 medal events planned for Paris 2024.
Regarding the athlete quota, the 10,500-athlete quota set for Paris 2024, including new sports, will lead to an overall reduction in the number of athletes – 592 fewer compared to Tokyo 2020 (11,092). It will also lead to a reduction in the number of officials, and therefore in the overall size and complexity of the Games.
Most sports in the Programme have seen a reduction of their quota, with Triathlon being one of the very few sports that maintain their number of athletes competing, currently set on 110 – 55 men and 55 women.
The Paris 2024 Games will have exactly 50 per cent male and female participation, following on from the gender equality already achieved for Tokyo 2020, which will have 48.8 per cent female participation.
The Programme will also have a growth of mixed gender events, from 18 to 22, compared to Tokyo 2020. Skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and breaking confirmed as additional sports based on a proposal by Paris 2024. Breaking will make its Olympic debut in Paris as well.
“With this programme, we are making the Olympic Games Paris 2024 fit for the post-corona world. We are further reducing the cost and complexity of hosting the Games. While we will achieve gender equality already at the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, we will see for the first time in Olympic history the participation of the exact same number of female athletes as male athletes. There is also a strong focus on youth,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.
In addition, the IOC EB strove to provide further reassurance to the athletes during this difficult time, consistent with the “athletes-first” approach of the IOC and the Paris 2024 Organising Committee. It therefore retained the vast majority of the current events, given the short three-year period between the Olympic Games Tokyo and Paris 2024.