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ITU President Casado hails momentum of Asia’s triathlon movement

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Push for Team Triathlon in the 2014 Asian Games

Guangzhou, China, 16 November 2010—With stunning triathlon competitions over the weekend at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado praised the Asiad for boosting Asia’s triathlon movement.  She also strengthened ITU’s commitment to the region’s development, backing the Asian Triathlon Confederation’s bid for the addition of Team Triathlon in the next Asian Games.

A total of 32 athletes from 12 countries participated in the Asian Games, including two Young Olympians from Mongolia and Kazakhstan who raced in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.  Three other Juniors and seven U23 athletes also competed, a clear indication that future Asian stars are on the rise. Korea’s Yun Jung Jang won bronze in the women’s contest, which was the first triathlon medal for the nation at a major games.

Yun Jung Jang (KOR). Click to download the right-free image. Photo: Satoshi Takasaki / ASTC JTU
“I am pleased to see that those young athletes demonstrated energetic performances at the Asiad, joining the world championship top contenders,” said Casado. “Athletes are emerging from the region, and so are the national federations.”

The number of NFs in Asia has doubled in the past eight years.

“The Asian Games plays a significant role in developing triathlon in this region.  ITU, in conjunction with the Asian Triathlon Confederation, are committed to making the movement more sustainable,” said Casado. “If Team Triathlon is welcomed to the Asian Games, it would become another catalyst to drive the development because it appeals so strongly to young people.”

Members of the Asian Triathlon Confederation Executive Board unanimously agreed to campaign for Team Triathlon’s inclusion in the next edition of the Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.  Team Triathlon, a 4x mixed, super-sprint-distance relay, is an inspirational new format of the sport.  ITU is very passionate about having the discipline added to the Olympic programme to inspire the world’s youth.  It was contested at the Youth Olympic Games, marking a significant step forward.

The momentum in Asia keeps rolling toward the next year and beyond, as the second edition of the Asian Beach Games will be staged in Muscat, Oman in December.  Triathlon has been on the programme since the first edition was held in Bali, Indonesia in 2008.  The most prestigious ITU event, the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Grand Final, will be held in Beijing next year on the 2008 Olympic Games course.

The 16th edition of the Asian Games continues in the southern Chinese city until 27th November.  Japan dominated the fields, sweeping gold and silver in both men’s and women’s triathlons.  Gold medallist Mariko Adachi of Japan was 9th in the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series overall standings.