As the countdown clock was unveiled in London yesterday to mark exactly 500 days until the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) today confirmed the competition dates and venue for the triathlon in London 2012.
For the first time the triathlon competition at the Olympic Games will be spread over more than two days. The women’s race will be part of a Super Saturday, on August 4, and the men’s race will follow three days later on Tuesday August 7.
In the previous three Olympics since the sport debuted in Sydney 2000, the men’s and women’s medals have been on two consecutive days.
With no heats or preliminaries, the women’s battle for the medals will start at 9am while the men’s will start slightly later at 11:30am on Tuesday.
Hyde Park in Central London will host the main triathlon venue with the swim to be contested in The Serpentine. The bike route will pass several major London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner and Constitution Hill and back into Hyde Park, where the athletes will finish on the run.
“We are extremely excited to showcase our sport in central London. Unlike many other sports that set inside an arena, the city of London itself will become the competition venue and serve as the backdrop for spectacular triathlon action,” said Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC Member.
Ticket prices start at just 20 UK pounds but parts of the bike route around Hyde Park will be free for spectators along the streets.
Applications for Olympic Games tickets will open on March 15 and close on April 26, 2011 and are accepted through the official London website. Non-residents of the UK or one of the designated European countries will be required to apply for tickets via their National Olympic Committee (NOC) starting March 15, 2011.
On August 6-7 of this year, athletes will race the Olympic course for the final time before the Olympics in the London round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series. The event will serve as a key Olympic qualifier for many National Federations.