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 > Home Page > About > About Triathlon Australia - History

About Triathlon Australia - History


Triathlon Australia is the official National Sporting Organisation responsible for the management and delivery of the sports of triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon, paratriathlon and multisport within Australia. 

Triathlon Australia (TA) has 8 affiliated State and Territory Triathlon Associations. Known as the STTAs, they are the official members of the national body. In addition we have approximately 22,000 individual members and 220 affiliated triathlon clubs.

Our Core Brand Values:

  •  HEALTH 
  • ENJOYMENT
  • BELONGING
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • INTEGRITY
  • RESPECT

The Triathlon Australia Strategic Plan 2016 – 2019 clearly outlines our Mission, Values and Objectives. To view our Strategic Plan, click here.

OuR PURPOSE

To enrich the sporting landscape by issuing a unique challenge anyone can accept and continuously grow, strengthen and connect the triathlon family and every Starting Line in Australia.

Starting Line

Everyone in Australia has a story, they all intersect in one place - the Starting Line, they are what bind us in our shared passion for sport and our way of life.

Passion | Participation | Performance

Our triple bottom line - Building and connecting the passion, growing participation and strengthening the performance of our elite athletes.

The start of triathlon in Australia

Triathlon came to Australia in the early 1980s after developing mainly on the West coast of the USA in the mid to late 1970s. The first State Triathlon Associations were formed in late 1984 and early 1985. In May 1986 at Broadbeach,  Queensland the Triathlon Federation of Australia was formed with Dr. Jim Hazel (after whom the Australian Ultra distance Championship Trophy is named) from Sydney becoming the inaugural President and Geoff Frost from Melbourne the Vice President. In 1991 the name of the national Governing Body was changed to Triathlon Australia.

1991 Gold Coast images compressed
Images from 1991 Gold Coast ITU Triathlon World Championships_credit Jero Honda

 

TA became a founding member of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) upon its formation in April 1989 in Avignon France. The first ITU World Championships were also held in Avignon in August of that year. The distances chosen were to become the standard in short course triathlon racing - 1.5 km swim 40km cycle and 10 km run. As the swim was the equivalent of the longest Olympic pool event, the bike was the standard international time trial distance and the run the longest Olympic track event, the term "Olympic Distance" quickly became shorthand for the standard course.

Australian success

Australian triathletes were successful almost from the start, with Greg Welch picking up the Elite Male World Championship title in Florida 1990. Miles Stewart followed up with a home town win in 1991 on the Gold Coast. In the female category, Michellie Jones won successive championships in Muskoka Canada in 1992 and Manchester in 1993. From that year on Australia’s dominance of the sport at the elite level has continued with many Elite, U23 and Junior titles over the years making Australia undoubtedly the most successful triathlon nation in ITU World Championship racing. 

The continued success of our elite and age group athletes at numerous World Championships has been augmented by success at Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Australia has achieved podium finishes at all four Olympic Games.  In 2000, the silver medal was won by Michellie Jones, in 2004 the silver medal was won by Loretta Harrop, in 2008 Emma Snowsill won the Gold medal and in 2012 Erin Densham won Bronze.

Australia has been successful at Commonwealth Games. At the 2002 Manchester Games, Australia took home two medals; Miles Stewart with Silver and Nicole Hackett Bronze. In Melbourne in 2006 Australia won three medals: Gold for Brad Kahlefeldt and Emma Snowsill and Bronze for Peter Robertson. At the Glasgow Games in 2014, the Australian team took home the Bronze medal in the Team Relay.

Glasgow 2014 Team Relay bronze on podium

Check out our Elite Medal History for a record of Australian success