Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games after it was awarded full medal status six years earlier. The international popularity of triathlon began to grow after its inclusion on the Olympic programme. It now has over 120 affiliated national federations around the world.
Trained triathletes have learnt to race each stage in a way that preserves their energy and endurance for subsequent stages. In most modern triathlons, events are placed back-to-back in immediate sequence, and a competitor’s official time includes the time required to “transition” between the individual legs of the race, including any time necessary for changing clothes and shoes.
Triathlon races are held over four distances: Sprint, Olympic, Double Olympic and Triple Olympic. The Olympic triathlon comprises a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride, and a 10km run. There are two competitions at the Olympic Games: men’s and women’s individual.
After a mass start, the race remains continuous, with no stop between the three legs. Transitions are vital to race strategy. Women typically finish in approximately two hours, while the top men usually finish in about 1 hour 50 minutes.