The International Triathlon Union (ITU) and the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 have chosen a spectacular venue, Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay, for the triathlon competitions. The sport, which made its Olympic debut at Sydney 2000, will feature a new event in addition to the men’s and women’s individual events – the mixed relay.
Odaiba Marine Park is a leisure resort, popular with families, where visitors can go for walks amidst the greenery and take in the spectacular views of Tokyo’s high-rise buildings. It also features a replica of the Statue of Liberty and overlooks the majestic Rainbow Bridge, which crosses Tokyo Bay and is lit up at night. This is the setting in which the triathletes will compete for Olympic medals in 2020. It has been the venue for Japan’s National Triathlon Championships for over 20 years.
The races will start in Odaiba Bay with a 1,500m swimming leg – split into two laps of 1km and 500m – before returning to dry land in the transition area for the cycling leg. The triathletes will have to complete eight laps of a highly technical 5km circuit, which passes through the West Promenade district, lined with greenery and various attractions. Finally, the 10km run will consist of four laps of 2.5km, on a route that passes along the waterfront.
The location is perfect, and it is incredibly exciting to be right in the heart of Tokyo at Odaiba Bay.Marisol Casado ITU President
The dynamic mixed relay format will be making its first appearance at the Games. The event will comprise a 300m swim, a 7.4km bike ride and a 2km run. The teams will be made up of four athletes, each of whom will complete the entire course before handing over to a team-mate in the following order: woman-man-woman-man. The cycling circuit will be slightly different, with the two-lap 3.7km route passing over a bridge close to the Ariake Tennis Park, while the running circuit is shorter, consisting of two laps of 1km.
The venue’s general layout means that thousands of spectators will be able to attend the event and cheer on the triathletes in a magnificent setting. The mixed relay will take place on 1 August, the “Super Saturday” of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – a day that will feature no fewer than 23 sports. There will also be full gender parity in the triathlon events, in line with the recommendations of the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020.
ITU President Marisol Casado said: “I am extremely proud of the courses that will stage the Olympic individual triathlon races and mixed relay, and the paratriathlon races. We have been working hard with Tokyo 2020 to develop courses that will be exciting for the athletes and spectators alike. The location is perfect, and it is incredibly exciting to be right in the heart of Tokyo at Odaiba Bay. It is a great opportunity to showcase this amazing city to the whole world as the best triathletes and paratriathletes on the planet compete among Tokyo’s iconic landmarks.”