The first gold medal of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) will be won in a sprint format Triathlon announced at the Southport Broadwater Parklands today.
For the first time in Commonwealth Games history, sprint courses will be utilised for the Individual and Para Triathlon races, set to provide fast and exciting racing in an iconic GC2018 setting for athletes, spectators and a global television audience.
The women’s and men’s Individual Triathlon races will be held on 5 April 2018, with the women’s Triathlon having the honour of being the first medal event at GC2018 followed shortly after by the men’s race.
The inaugural Para Triathlon at a Commonwealth Games and an exciting Mixed Team Relay will round out the Triathlon program on 7 April 2018.
The sprint format for the Individual and Para Triathlon will comprise a 750m swim leg, 20km bike leg and 5km run leg, while the Mixed Team Relay will feature four athletes each completing a 250m swim, 7km bike and 1.5km run.
The northern end of the Southport Broadwater Parklands will host the start, finish and transitions for the Triathlon, with the bike and run legs to head north along a flat, technical and scenic route.
GC2018 Triathlon Ambassador Ashleigh Gentle, fellow Gold Coast triathlon star Matthew Hauser and Australian para triathletes Emily Tapp and Nic Beveridge attended the announcement today, all expressing their excitement over the sprint format on the picturesque and spectator-friendly course.
For the community, a comprehensive public awareness program called Get Set for the Games is being rolled out to ensure residents and businesses know how they can access certain areas at Games time.
Those lucky enough to have secured tickets to the Triathlon will have great seats at the Southport Broadwater Parklands venue with exclusive access to the race starts, finishes, transitions and other amenities.
For those who missed out on tickets, the public space and parks which line the Broadwater in Labrador and Biggera Waters, some of the best and most scenic spectator vantage points at the Games, will provide a great opportunity to witness the exciting bike and run legs.
Minister for the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones:
“The Triathlon will demonstrate Queensland’s love of outdoor sport to visitors for the Commonwealth Games and a huge global television and social media audience.
“The course looks fantastic and I can’t think of a better sport to feature on the opening day of competition to showcase the Games to the world.
“The first medal event of the Games will be the women’s Triathlon which will bring a huge focus on the sport of Triathlon from fans and the world’s media.”
GOLDOC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Brian Nourse:
“This world-class Triathlon course will deliver an iconic Gold Coast experience for competing athletes and spectators at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
“It will not only be great for the athletes to race on but provide the opportunity for fans to get nice and close to the action with the glorious Broadwater as the backdrop.
“In another first for GC2018, we are proud to host the inaugural Para Triathlon at a Commonwealth Games and see some of the finest para sport athletes in action here on the Gold Coast.
“Over two exciting competition days, there will be Triathlon and Para Triathlon races for men and women and what will be an entertaining Mixed Team Relay."
City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate:
“The Gold Coast community will have a great opportunity to witness the speed, endurance and tactics of the Triathlon with this wonderful course.
“It will be a great presentation of the picturesque Broadwater and our beautiful Southport Broadwater Parklands to visiting athletes and spectators.
“The Triathlon will also provide a great opportunity for local residents and businesses along the course to take advantage of having an event of this magnitude in their own front yard.”
GC2018 Triathlon Ambassador Ashleigh Gentle:
“We have never seen the sprint format in triathlon at a major Games. It is going to be exciting for the athletes and spectators alike, as we will be showcasing a whole new level of speed and dynamic racing.
“The Southport Broadwater is a spectacular venue and I'm proud to race here and present this part of the Gold Coast to the Commonwealth nations.
“I can see all the races being hotly contested and continue a long rivalry amongst the traditionally strong triathlon nations such as Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.”
International Triathlon Union (ITU) President and IOC member Marisol Casado:
“We are thrilled to have such an excellent course for our athletes once again on the Gold Coast, an event that has been on our World Triathlon Series calendar for many years, and which will host the Grand Final in 2018, only six months after the Commonwealth Games.
“Furthermore, the new sprint format for the Triathlon at GC2018 will be exciting for both athletes and fans.
“The Individual Triathlon, Mixed Relay and Para Triathlon races will be held on a tight and technical course that will showcase fast, exciting and tactical racing.
“It has been designed to world class standards and applies many of the successful and popular elements of the courses used for this year’s ITU World Triathlon Series event and the annual Gold Coast Triathlon.
“The athletes will need to draw on their elite bike handling skills for the sharp turns and ensure they are positioned well coming into a fast and furious final run leg.”
English triathlete Jonathan Brownlee (Glasgow 2014 individual silver medallist):
“I’m very motivated to succeed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“I’ve been Commonwealth Games relay champion in Glasgow, I’m Commonwealth Games silver medallist in Glasgow but I really want the individual gold.
“I’ve not won many big races so this is a real chance for me to become a Commonwealth champion in my own right, that means a lot to me.
“I have a lot of seconds, second in the Olympics, third in the Olympics, second at Commonwealth Games so hopefully now it will give me a really good chance to win a really big event.”
Australian Para Triathlete Bill Chaffey:
"With the Commonwealth Games triathlon not just in Australia but here on the Gold Coast, which is in my own back yard where so many of my friends & family will be watching, I am anxious but very excited.
“My first international competition was here in 2009 where I won my first World Championship. Hopefully I can have the same result in what may be my last international race."
Triathlon Course Notes:
The swim leg will commence from a start pontoon on the Broadwater with an anticlockwise 750m course, the only open water swim at GC2018, bringing the athletes into the transition area.
The bike leg will consist of four 5km laps of a technically-challenging road course which stretches from Southport to Biggera Waters.
The run leg will be an exciting finale to the race with two 2.5km laps of a flat and fast course between Southport and Labrador.
The only difference to the course for the Para Triathlon will be a five-lap bike leg instead of four.
The Mixed Team Relay will feature teams of four racing in the order of female, male, female, male. Each team member will complete a 250m swim, 7km bike and 1.5km run and then tag their next team member into the race.
History of Triathlon at the Commonwealth Games:
The Triathlon was introduced as a Commonwealth Games sport in 2002 at Manchester with subsequent editions in 2006 and 2014. The individual races have previously been held over the Olympic distance (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run).
The Mixed Team Relay was added as an event in Glasgow 2014.
England has won the most gold medals in the Triathlon at the Commonwealth Games with three, while Australia has the most total medals at six.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held from 4-15 April 2018.
For more information on GC2018, visit gc2018.com