By: Robert Fawdon, Yokohama – Japan, May 17, 2014: ITU, Marisol Casado, President of the International Triathlon Union [ITU] and IOC Member, has today set out her vision for the organisation, highlighting the desire for Triathlon Mixed Relay to be added to the Olympic Sports Programme, while also celebrating the development, growth and innovation of other Triathlon disciplines, including Paratriathlon.
The ITU President, speaking at a press conference following a World Triathlon Series event in Yokohama, Japan, also praised the Japanese Triathlon Union and the local organising committee for hosting a highly successful, multi-discipline event that saw elite athletes compete in both Triathlon and Paratriathlon.
Speaking in Yokohama, Japan, Marisol Casado, said:
“Yokohama has played an important role in the history and the positive development of the World Triathlon Series. Since the first race here in 2009, the local organising committee and the Japanese Triathlon Union have put on a phenomenal race and the Japanese people are amongst the most enthusiastic and welcoming in the world. This all bodes well for our sport coming to Japan for Tokyo 2020.
“We have also enjoyed one of the most competitive Paratriathlon events of the year with athletes coming from around the world to compete here. In this Yokohama race, we are delighted to have implemented a new research-based classification system that allows paratriathletes with different degrees of disability to compete against one another. ITU is leading the way to advance the new classification system and this demonstrates our dedication to innovate and evolve Paratriathlon to ensure we can offer the best competitive race environment and enable athletes and watching fans to celebrate great athletic achievements.
“The ITU is also extremely proud that Paratriathlon will make its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, offering an inclusive global opportunity for athletes to perform at elite level in a modern and dynamic sport. I believe on this evidence that Paratriathlon has the potential to become one of the fastest growing sports in the Paralympic Movement.”
The ITU President also expressed her confidence in preparations for Rio 2016:
“We are happy that preparation for our sport in Rio 2016 is on track and we are excited about showcasing Triathlon at the beautiful, iconic location of Copacabana Beach. This will be the perfect setting for elite Triathlon and we know our sport will play a big part in making the Games truly spectacular.”
On the future, Casado said:
“Looking ahead, the ITU remains committed and passionate about seeing Triathlon Mixed Relay added to the Olympic Sports Programme and we are keen to promote it in the context of Agenda 2020 and President Bach’s desire for positive change. With unpredictable drama and the display of team pride, the format appeals tremendously to youth. If added to the Olympic Programme, the Mixed Relay discipline has the ability to showcase Triathlon to a new generation, while also bringing a new youthful audience to the Olympic Games.”