The International Triathlon Union, ITU is pleased to announce that the Triathlon Mixed Relays has been included on the Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee announced the new events added for the next Olympics, which will be Triathlon Mixed Relays, Basketball 3×3, Archery Mixed Team event, 4×400 mixed relays in athletics, BMX freestyle Park, Madison in Cycling, team events in fencing, mixed team event in judo, mixed doubles in table tennis and 4x100m medley mixed relay in swimming.

Gwen Jorgensen supports the Mixed Relay format in Triathlon at the Olympics. (Triathlon.org)

In August 2020, the Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo will host the third triathlon event during the next Olympics, giving triathletes the possibility to earn another Olympic medal. The Mixed Relays will represent a catalyst on the promotion of women athletes within all NOCs around the world, as it completely fulfils the Agenda 2020 requirements.

The Mixed Relays is one of the most thrilling events in triathlon, with teams of two men and two women completing each a short-course triathlon (300m swim, 8km bike, 2km run) before tagging off to their teammate to take over.

With its rapid and unpredictable format, athletes love it and spectators enjoy it both onsite and on television, making it one of the most spectacular formats of the circuit.

“It will be amazing if we could have two opportunities to get a medal at the Olympic Games,” said American Gwen Jorgensen.

An Olympic winner herself in Rio 2016, she was one of the first triathletes backing ITU’s proposal of including the Mixed Relays on the Olympic Programme for Tokyo 2020.

Marisol Casado, President of ITU and IOC Member, said:

“We are absolutely delighted with this decision. We’ve been pushing for the Mixed Relays to be included in the Programme for quite a long time, as it is an event that gives the sport something very important: a sense of team building. But most important, is an event that demonstrates that women and men can compete together but both are equally important to the success of the team.

The energetic, exciting, uncompromising and action-packed format also appeals tremendously to youth, as the Mixed Relay format showcases Triathlon to a new generation.

The excitement and drama of the Mixed Relay also makes it a marketable, spectator-friendly discipline that is dramatic viewing for television spectators and digital media.

Indeed, the Mixed Relay has massive engagement across media, with over 7 million TV spectators worldwide, 19 television outlets airing the World Championships, and 250,000 spectators lining the streets each year to enjoy live the Mixed Relays Worlds.

The Mixed Relays are already included in the programme of the Youth Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, and have been recently added on the programme for the PanAmerican Games to be held in Lima 2018. The next World Championship will be held in Hamburg (Germany) on July 16.

Every year, over 60 countries organise Mixed Relay events, each with an average of 25 teams participating. A thrilling and engaging format in which National Federations are challenged to develop Triathlon for women and men equally across all levels of participation.

Read more on Triathlon.org