Triathlon at the Summer Olympics

Triathlon at the Summer Olympics
Governing body ITU
Events 2 (men: 1; women: 1)
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Triathlon had its Summer Olympics debut at the 2000 Games, in Sydney, and has been contested since then. It is governed by the International Triathlon Union.


The 2000 Summer Olympics saw the first appearance of the triathlon. 48 women and 52 men competed in separate triathlons. The distances used were the "international" or "standard" ones, with a 1.5 km (0.93 mi) swim, 40 km (25 mi) cycle, and a 10 km (6.2 mi) run. The 2004 triathlon was identical to the first in distance, but the 100-athlete quota was evened between 50 women and 50 men. The quota was further increased to 55 women and 55 men for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and remained the same for London 2012. In London, the women's triathlon took place on Saturday 4 August, with the men's event on Tuesday 7 August.

Medal table


A man wears a black long-sleeved wetsuit, an orange swimming cap, and blue-shaded swimming goggles. He is smiling and holds his left hand over his chest.
Canadian Simon Whitfield was the first gold medalist in the men's Olympic triathlon, in 2000.
A blue-eyed smiling woman wearing a white towel around her shoulders and a white cap with a pair of white-framed sporting sunglasses on top of it. The cap bears the Austrian Olympic committee logo.
Kate Allen of Austria came from behind to win the 2004 women's Olympic triathlon event.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
2000 Sydney
Simon Whitfield
Stephan Vuckovic
Jan Řehula
 Czech Republic
2004 Athens
Hamish Carter
 New Zealand
Bevan Docherty
 New Zealand
Sven Riederer
2008 Beijing
Jan Frodeno
Simon Whitfield
Bevan Docherty
 New Zealand
2012 London
Alistair Brownlee
 Great Britain
Javier Gómez Noya
Jonathan Brownlee
 Great Britain
2016 Rio de Janeiro
Alistair Brownlee
 Great Britain
Jonathan Brownlee
 Great Britain
Henri Schoeman
 South Africa


Games Gold Silver Bronze
2000 Sydney
Brigitte McMahon
Michellie Jones
Magali Messmer
2004 Athens
Kate Allen
Loretta Harrop
Susan Williams
 United States
2008 Beijing
Emma Snowsill
Vanessa Fernandes
Emma Moffatt
2012 London
Nicola Spirig
Lisa Nordén
Erin Densham
2016 Rio de Janeiro
Gwen Jorgensen
 United States
Nicola Spirig Hug
Vicky Holland
 Great Britain


Thirteen nations have split the thirty medals awarded in the triathlon events.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Great Britain (GBR) 2 1 2 5
 Switzerland (SUI) 2 1 2 5
3  Australia (AUS) 1 2 2 5
4  New Zealand (NZL) 1 1 1 3
5  Canada (CAN) 1 1 0 2
 Germany (GER) 1 1 0 2
7  United States (USA) 1 0 1 2
8  Austria (AUT) 1 0 0 1
9  Portugal (POR) 0 1 0 1
 Spain (ESP) 0 1 0 1
 Sweden (SWE) 0 1 0 1
12  Czech Republic (CZE) 0 0 1 1
 South Africa (RSA) 0 0 1 1


Qualification spots in the triathlon are allotted to National Olympic Committees (NOCs) rather than to individual athletes.

There are five ways for NOCs to earn spots in the triathlon. NOCs can earn a maximum of three spots, though only eight nations may earn that many. Nations beyond that may earn only two spots.[1]

The first five spots go to the winners of the five regional qualifying tournaments. Three more spots go to the top three triathletes of the most recent Triathlon World Championships, though any athlete that won a regional tournament is skipped in that determination. The next 39 places go to the NOCs of those athletes highest in the ITU ranking (again, skipping those athletes that have already qualified in the first two methods). A forty-eighth place is awarded to the host country if it has not already received a spot, or to the next highest ranked athlete if the host country has. Two places are awarded by the Tripartite Commission. In the end, further five places are distributed to the NOCs without any quota through the ITU Points List, with one place for each continent.[1]


The Olympic triathlon is composed of two medal events, one for men and the other for women. Both use the same distances of 1.5 km, 40 km, and 10 km. Mass starts are used and drafting is allowed during the cycling phase.

Because of the variability of courses, official records are not kept for the triathlon. This rule applies to Olympic games as well.


The following nations have taken part in the triathlon competition.

Nation 00 04 08 12 16 Total
 Argentina M B M M 4
 Australia B B B B B 5
 Austria M B B B B 5
 Azerbaijan M 1
 Barbados M 1
 Belgium W W M B B 5
 Bermuda M W B W 4
 Brazil B B B B B 5
 Canada B B B B B 4
 Chile M W B W 4
 China W W B B B 5
 Colombia W W M 3
 Costa Rica W M M 3
 Czech Republic B B B B W 5
 Denmark B M M W M 5
 Ecuador W W 2
 Estonia M M W 3
 France B B B B B 5
 Germany B B B B B 5
 Great Britain B B B B B 5
 Greece M M W 3
 Hong Kong M B 2
 Hungary B B B W B 5
 Ireland W B B 3
 Israel M 1
 Italy B W B B B 5
 Jamaica W 1
 Japan B B B B B 5
 Jordan M 1
 Kazakhstan M B M 3
 Luxembourg W W B 3
 Mauritius W W 2
 Mexico M B B B 4
 Monaco M 1
 Netherlands B W B W W 5
 Netherlands Antilles M 1
 New Zealand B B B B B 5
 Poland B B W 3
 Portugal W B M M 4
 Russia W B B B B 5
 Slovakia M M M 3
 Slovenia W W 2
 South Africa B B W B B 5
 South Korea M 1
 Spain B B B B B 5
 Sweden M W W W 4
 Switzerland B B B B B 5
 Syria M 1
 Ukraine M M B B B 5
 United States B B B B B 5
 Venezuela M M 2
 Zimbabwe M M M 3
Nations 34 33 36 39 38 52
Year 00 04 08 12 16 Total

Key: M - Men only; W - Women only; B - Both competitions.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Qualification System – Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Triathlon" (PDF). February 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
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