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Posted: April 1, 2006

Multisport: ITU Will Test Changes to Triathlon and Duathlon Format

For release on April 1, 2006

The International Triathlon Union (ITU), the world governing body for the sports of triathlon and duathlon, has announced that it will implement - on a trial basis - several changes to the sport.

The planned changes are:

  1. Transition times will be removed from a competitor's race time. Based on the course layout, fixed transition times will be established for each race. Athletes who exceed these times will have the overage added to their final time.
    Les MacDonald, president of the ITU, said that, "It is time to move the sport forward. Triathlon consists of THREE disciplines and currently FIVE times are recorded."
  2. A second change to triathlon will be the equalizing of the three distances to bring them closer together in duration. Currently the swim takes considerably less time than the both the bike and run. An analysis of performance times is now underway by a research committee which will propose new distances for the three disciplines for the trial.
  3. Duathlons will be changed to a cycle, run format. "Duathlon should be two events not three as it currently is. The current format was designed to fit with the triathlon format and makes no sense," said MacDonald.

The ITU expects some criticism over these changes but stressed that this is a trial only and there will be a review of the impact of the changes at the end of the trial. As well, the ITU points out, there was widespread criticism of allowing drafting in ITU events and that decision has turned out to be a major improvement to the sport.

A decision on the adoption of these changes after the trial period will be announced on April 1, 2007.

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