Triathletes are among an elite breed of sportspeople for whom shining in one discipline just isn’t enough.
Not content with an exhausting swim, they have two more sports to smash before they cross the finish line – an impressive spectacle to behold.
In recent years, the popular Brownlee brothers (Alistair and Jonathan) have been Britain’s greatest triathlon hopes, but only one of them has managed to qualify for the Olympics 2020 in Tokyo.
Read on to find out more about the sport, and who will be competing for Team GB at this year’s postponed Olympics.
RadioTimes.com brings you up to speed with everything you need to know about triathlon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the summer of 2021. Plus check out what’s on with our guide to the Olympics on TV today.
When is triathlon at the Olympics?
Triathlon runs on three separate days:
Monday 26th July – Men’s
Tuesday 27th July – Women’s
Saturday 31st July – Mixed relay
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Which sports make up an Olympic triathlon?
Triathlon consists, unsurprisingly, of three sports. Firstly, competitors swim, then they jump on a bike for a cycle, before finishing the event with a run.
Triathlon was made an Olympic sport in 2000, and was contested for the first time at the Sydney Games in Australia.
There are usually two events: a men’s triathlon and a women’s triathlon. Tokyo 2020 introduces a third event, the mixed team relay race, contested by teams of four.
Each member of the team will compete in each discipline – swimming, cycling and running – but over a shorter distance.
What are the distances in an Olympic triathlon?
Men and Women individual
Swimming: 1.5km (0.93 miles)
Cycling: 40km (25 miles)
Running: 10km (6.2 miles)
Mixed team relay
Swimming: 300m (980 feet)
Cycling: 8km (5 miles)
Running: 2km (1.2 miles)
When does the Olympic triathlon take place?
The men’s event is scheduled for Monday 26th July, with the women’s race the day after, on Tuesday 27th July.
The new mixed relay event will take place on Saturday 31st July.
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Which Team GB athletes will compete in Olympic triathlon?
Team GB has enjoyed great success in the triathlon in recent years, thanks in no small part to the Brownlee brothers.
Alistair and his younger brother Jonny are Yorkshire lads who have taken the sport by storm – Alistair won gold at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, while Jonny took bronze in London and silver in Rio.
However, a controversial decision has left Alistair unable to defend his title in Tokyo.
After originally struggling to qualify as a result of an ankle injury, he hoped a World Series triathlon in Leeds would secure his place in the team.
However he was disqualified from the event after accusations that he ‘ducked’ a rival in the water during the swimming phase, and Alex Yee has earned a spot in Team GB instead.
For Jonny, this is a chance to step out from his brother’s shadow. He told ITV News, “I have been very fortunate to have Alistair next to me on the start line in the last two Olympics and without him it is going to feel very, very different. But I like to think that I will be able to deal with it and it will hopefully be my time to shine now.”
Vicky Holland, who became Britain’s first female triathlon Olympic medalist when she won bronze in Rio, will also compete.
She’ll be racing alongside 2020 World Champion Georgia Taylor-Brown and 2017 European Champion Jess Learmonth.
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