2007 World Team Championships Back to Hungary
“We are very excited to bring the team championships back to the ITU schedule,” said ITU Executive Director, Loreen Barnett. “This new racing format has become a huge hit amongst our athletes and the triathlon community and we expect that it will continue to gain momentum and support.”
The new, quick-paced race format is a team relay of three team members each completing a “super sprint triathlon” of a 250m swim, 6.6km draft-legal cycle and 1.6km run each before handing off to their next team mate. The first team to complete the “3 x super sprint” will win the title of strongest triathlon nation. Each nation can enter two teams for men and two teams for women. Not only is national pride at stake but also a prize purse of US$25,000, which organisers are hoping to double, that will be awarded to the top three teams – equally to both men and women.
As part of the ongoing initiative to get more athletes on the Olympic programme, ITU introduced the team format in Tiszaujvaros in 2003 and the fast and spectator-friendly format instantly became popular amongst the athletes and spectators.
“The goal of the ITU is to increase the international exposure and participation of our sport and by introducing a format such as the team-relay, we hope to eventually get the discipline in the Olympics Games,” commented Barnett. “Similar to swimming and athletics we would have a triathlon relay format in the Games enabling more athletes and countries to take part in the Olympic experience.”
The course for this year’s event will be the same as 2003 with athletes swimming in the city lake with the bike and run course in city centre. The 25,000 spectators that consistently attend the world cup will have a stadium-like experience on the unique course, being able to see the entire swim, bike and run from their seats in the park. Thousands of people flock to the small Northern Hungarian town every year.