Expect Hyde Park to be brimming with a crowd to rival the Royal Wedding when the world’s best triathletes tackle the 2012 Olympic course. Athletes will dive into Serpentine Lake for a 1500m swim, cruise past Buckingham Palace during the 40km cycle leg and then complete four laps around the Serpentine on a 10km run journey. The backdrop may be typically British, but look forward to a strong Aussie podium finish.
Australia’s men are out to claim Australia’s first male triathlon medal. The rise of Victorian athleteBrendan Sexton in 2011 has them looking in good stead. Sexton is competing at his first Games alongside 2008 Olympians Courtney Atkinson and Brad Kahlefeldt who finished 11th and 16th respectively at the Beijing Olympics.
The women’s triathlon will take place on Saturday 4th August and the men’s competition on Tuesday 7th August. Both men and women contest the same course. Competition starts with a 1,500m swim, followed by a 40km bike ride and a 10km run. There are no heats, the competition is a single race with the first athletes crossing the finishing line winning gold. Expect the men to complete the course in around one hour and 50 minutes with the women around 10 minutes slower.
QUALIFICATION AND SELECTION
Countries qualify for the 55 male and 55 female places based largely on the world rankings of individual athletes over a one year period.
A maximum of eight countries can enter three athletes in each Olympic event, meaning the depth of Australia’s triathlon ranks will be tested.
AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC HISTORY
Australia’s female athletes have medalled at every Olympics since triathlon was introduced in 2000. Michellie Jones and Loretta Harrop won silver medals in 2000 and 2004 before Australia’s two Emmas – Snowsill and Moffatt, dodged the silver mantle to take gold and bronze respectively at the Beijing Olympic Games.