Events

7 Things You Must Know About Thursday’s ITU Mixed Relays

Triathlon's mixed relay is making its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Triathlon’s mixed relay is making its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Thursday is the first time teams can start racking up qualifying points to get to the world’s biggest sports stage (more on the complicated qualification system here). Here’s what you need to know about the event:

*Seventy-two of the world’s top triathletes are in Nottingham, England for the launch of the World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series. The start list features 18 teams with all athletes vying for key points toward 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualification.

*Nottingham is the first stop of the new series, followed by the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, on July 15. The series finale will be held in Edmonton, Canada, on July 28.

*Teams have until up to two hours before the race start to announce their final squad lineups, which leads to the first strategic battle of the day with some countries announcing their athletes well in advance, while others prefer to wait until the last minute.

*USA Triathlon announced its athletes one by one on social media, with Kirsten Kasper, Eli Hemming, Katie Zaferes, and Matthew McEllroy earning the four spots. Getting that start is key, as doing well in these mixed relay events could prove an athlete worthy of a discretionary spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

*Undoubtedly one of the strongest teams will be hosts Great Britain, with the preliminary squad featuring two Olympic medal winners in Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland, along with former ITU world champion Non Stanford and ITU World Triathlon Series medalist Tom Bishop.

*Also vying for podium spots will be the recently crowned Commonwealth Games champions, Australia. The current world champions certainly know how to compete in a relay, and the Aussie team has amassed more medal finishes than any other country in the Mixed Relay history, including last year’s world title.

*ITU’s Triathlon Mixed Relay format is racing at its most exciting, where the individual sport combines with a team mentality. The format works like this: two men and two women from the same country each complete a 300m swim, 6.6km bike, and 1.5km run, before tagging their teammate in a female–male–female–male pattern.

“We are thrilled to finally host the first Mixed Relay Series here in Nottingham, as the kick off for this amazing event to be in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.” said Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC member. “The style of race, coupled with the gender mix, bring a whole new element to our sport that the crowds here, and the next stages in Hamburg and Edmonton, as well as those watching around the world, will love.”

How to Watch

The race is set to begin on Thursday, June 7, at 10:36 a.m. PT/1:36 p.m. ET (6:36 p.m. local time), and fans can follow the action live at Triathlonlive.tv.

Start Lists

Team Australia
Charlotte McShane
Aaron Royle
Ashleigh Gentle
Ryan Bailie

Team United States
Kirsten Kasper
Eli Hemming
Katie Zaferes
Matthew McElroy

Team Netherlands
Rachel Klamer
Marco Van Der Stel
Maya Kingma
Jorik Van Egdom

Team Great Britain
Non Stanford
Thomas Bishop
Vicky Holland
Jonathan Brownlee

Team Canada
Amelie Kretz
Tyler Mislawchuk
Joanna Brown
Matthew Sharpe

Team France
Cassandre Beaugrand
Pierre Le Corre
Mathilde Gautier
Léo Bergere

Team South Africa
Gillian Sanders
Richard Murray
Anel Radford
Henri Schoeman

Team Switzerland
Julie Derron
Sylvain Fridelance
Nicola Spirig
Simon Westermann

Team New Zealand
Nicole Van Der Kaay
Tayler Reid
Ainsley Thorpe
Sam Ward

Team Germany
Laura Lindemann
Jonas Schomburg
Lena Meißner
Jonas Breinlinger

Team Japan
Minami Kubono
Mitsuho Mochizuki
Miyu Sakai
Kyotaro Yoshikawa

Team Spain
Anna Godoy Contreras
Francesc Godoy Contreras
Sara Perez Sala
Antonio Benito Lopez

Team Russia
Elena Danilova
Igor Polyanskiy
Anastasia Abrosimova
Dmitry Polyanskiy

Team Hungary
Zsófia Kovács
Tamás Tóth
Zsanett Bragmayer
Gábor Faldum

Team Italy
Angelica Olmo
Delian Stateff
Verena Steinhauser
Gianluca Pozzatti

Team Denmark
Alberte Kjær Pedersen
Andreas Schilling
Anne Holm
Emil Holm

Team Austria
Sara Vilic
Alois Knabl
Julia Hauser
Lukas Hollaus

Team Mexico
Claudia Rivas
Crisanto Grajales
Michelle Flipo
Irving Perez