The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games triathlons will showcase the world’s best short-course racers on the grandest stage in sport – here’s everything you need to know.
For short course athletes, the Olympic Games Triathlon is the pinnacle of the sport. It represents the culmination of a four-year cycle – five in the case of this year’s Games – of battling to earn the chance to represent their country. From there, the hard work has just begun as these speed specialists go head-to-head in a pressure-cooker bid for glory and the opportunity to be honoured forever as an Olympic medallist.
Perhaps we’ll even get to see a new Olympic Champion who’ll follow in the footsteps of 2008 winner and PTO World #1 Jan Frodeno – taking short-course tri’s biggest accolade on the way to becoming the biggest force in long-course racing.
Triathlon Events At The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
As with each Olympics since triathlon’s introduction to the Games in 2000, we’ll have the men’s and women’s individual races to look forward to in Tokyo, both held over a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
Triathlon fans will also have another opportunity to cheer on their country’s athletes thanks to Tokyo 2020’s inclusion of the first ever Olympic Mixed Relay event. This action-packed race follows the individual races and features four athletes per team.
Racing in woman-man-woman-man order, each athlete will each complete a super-sprint race of 300m swim, 6.8km bike and 2km run before tagging in their country’s next competitor. Some countries have even picked their athletes specifically to target a medal in this event rather than going for individual glory.
When To Watch
The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games Triathlons take place on three dates within the first week of the Olympics. The men and women race on consecutive days – 26 and 27 July – with a few days’ rest before the first-ever Olympic Mixed Relay triathlon on 31 July.
Men’s race – Monday 26 July 2021 06:30 Tokyo
Women’s race – Tuesday 27 July 2021 06:30 Tokyo
Mixed relay – Saturday 31 July 2021 at 07:30 Tokyo
Get Involved With The PTO’s Tri Fantasy Game
To celebrate the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games triathlons, we’ve expanded our Tri Fantasy Game to get you even more invested in the outcome! Purely in the name of fun, you can put on your triathlon pundit’s hat and make your predictions for the Games to earn bragging rights with your friends.
Start by selecting a team of your top five men and women. You’ve got an imaginary budget of ¥350 to play with and different athletes warrant higher values. Once your 10 athletes are in your squad, it’s time to sit back and see how they do! The winner of each individual race will get 1500 points with points decreasing by 7.5% for every position after that. The more points you end up with, the higher your ranking will be.
To play, head to the Fantasy game now!
Olympic Triathlon Race Venue
Odaiba Park will host all three triathlon events as well as the paratriathlon competitions. With spectacular views of the city’s futuristic skyline across the stunning Rainbow Bridge, this small island – south of central Tokyo, between Koto City and Shinagawa City – could provide the most spectacular setting for an Olympic triathlon yet.
While the location provides a unique viewpoint of Tokyo, all eyes will be set firmly on thermometers in the days leading up to the events. The races have been moved earlier to help mitigate fallout from the heat but temperatures are still set to soar to over 30°C while the humidity and even the chance of thunderstorms will be on the athletes’ minds.
Olympic Triathlon Courses
Individual Olympic Triathlons
In the individual races, a pontoon start just off Odaiba Beach will kick things off. Start positions will be decided by a blind selection process that could have a real bearing on the swim as athletes thrash it out for pole position by the first buoy. The swim will consist of two laps – one 1000m and one 500m for 1500m total – each heading out into Tokyo Bay towards Bird Island.
Once out the water, athletes will grab their bikes from T1 in Seaside Park before taking on an eight-lap, 40km bike course through the West Promenade gardens up Wangan-doro Avenue and back past transition. While the elevation change hardly peaks at double digits, it’s certainly a technical course with over 10 90-degree corners and a pair of dead turns. This could favour a small breakaway with the space to take the turns at pace.
After T2 back at Seaside Park, it’s a 10km footrace over four 2.5km laps. Each virtually flat lap circles the park before taking athletes back to the edge of Tokyo Bay for the finishing straight that will crown this year’s Olympic medallists.
The Mixed Relay Triathlon features a more compact version of the individual course. The first athletes will begin on the pontoon with a 300m swim in the bay. Next is a two-lap 6.8km bike course that crosses the bridge towards Ariake Tennis Park. It’s another technical bike route with corners aplenty and three u-turns. Finally, there’s a 1km run around Odaiba Beach before handing over to the next athlete, who will perform a spectacular running dive into the water.
55 women and men from 38 nations have qualified for the Olympic triathlon races. Australia, Great Britain, Italy and the USA have all qualified the maximum of three women while Australia, Spain, France and Norway each have three men racing. Only Australia has hit the ranking criteria to take six athletes to the Games. Egypt, Morocco and Romania will all be competing in the Olympic triathlon for the first time.
In the Mixed Relay event, 18 nations will line up, each with two men and two women – selected from the same pool as the individual races. However, the final start list, including the order of each team’s athletes, won’t be confirmed until two hours before the race.
Individual Men’s Start List
|Start Num#||First Name||Last Name||YOB||Country|
|48||Marco||Van Der Stel||1991||NED|
Individual Women’s Start List
|Start Num#||First Name||Last Name||YOB||Country|
|50||Nicole||Van Der Kaay||1996||NZL|
Mixed Relay Country List
|3||Team United States||USA|
|4||Team Great Britain||GBR|
|5||Team New Zealand||NZL|
|17||Team South Africa||RSA|
|18||Team Russian Olympic Committee||ROC|
How To Watch
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic triathlons will be broadcast all around the world. Here’s a lowdown of all the global carriers so you can make sure you don’t miss a moment of the action.
ARGENTINA: TYC Sports
AUSTRALIA: Seven Network
BELGIUM: VRT & RTBF
BRASIL: Grupo Globo & BandSports
CANADA: CBC/Radio-Canada; Sportsnet; TSN & TLN
CHINA: CCTV & MIGU
CZECH REPUBLIC: ČT
ESTONIA: Postimees Group
ALL EUROPE: Discovery, Inc – Eurosport
FRANCE: France Télévisions & Eurosport
GERMANY: ARD & ZDF
HONG KONG: I-CABLE; PCCW & TVB
JAPAN: Japan Consortium
MEXICO: Televisa; TV Azteca & Imagen Televisión
SPAIN: RTVE & EUROSPORT
SOUTH AFRICA: SABC & SuperSport
SWITZERLAND: SRG & SSR
UK: BBC & Eurosport