Qualified for Beijing: Triathlon Olympic Qualification complete
With less than two months to go before the Beijing Games, 37 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) know today how many Olympic triathlon spots they have earned. It was after the final Olympic qualification event – the Vancouver Triathlon World Championships – that the International Triathlon Union (ITU) issued the full list of NOCs which will be represented at the Beijing Olympic triathlon event. They have until 6 July 2008 to inform the ITU of use of qualification places.
Parity in Beijing
55 women and 55 men will compete in Beijing. Women’s triathletes will start on 18 August while their male colleagues will wait for the following day. The Olympic triathlon comprises a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride, and a 10km run.
Olympic debut in 2000
Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games, where it was one of the first medals awarded at the Games. Brigitte McMahon from Switzerland and Simon Whitfield from Canada won triathlon's first Olympic gold medals. Four years later in Athens, their successors were Kate Allen from Austria and Hamish Carter from New Zealand.
A cultural, historical and environmentally friendly Olympic venue
The Beijing Olympic triathlon event will be held at a scenic area of the Ming Tomb Reservoir in the Changping District of northern Beijing. The Ming Tombs is the general name given to the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Because of its long history, palatial and integrated architecture, the site has a high cultural and historic value. For the ITU, this venue is “the most environmentally friendly triathlon venue in the world". Swimming will be held on the reservoir while cycling and running will be held on the big dam and the road section south of the dam.