The triathlon is a fairly new Olympic event and was held for the first time at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It consists of three events, the 1500 mtr swim in open water, a 40 km bike ride and a 10km run and the event became popular in America in the 1970s as a training regime but soon developed into a sport in it's own right. The three events take place consecutively over a gruelling two hour period. Athletes undertake the swim first for safety reasons, as this reduces the chance of cramping in the water.
The 2012 London Triathlon will start and finish in Hyde Park [August 4th and 7th]. The swimming event will take place in the Serpentine, followed by the cycle ride around central London and finishing with the run back, in Hyde Park. Spectators will be able to view this Olympic event for free on most of the course, no need for tickets or a trek to the stadiums is necessary for this exciting event.
In September 2011 Alistair Brownlee took the Triathlon World Title with a convincing win on the 2008 Olympic course in Beijing. Brownlee was thought unlikely to qualify for the games in 2008 but after making the team, finished as the top Brit in the competition. Younger brother Jonathon finished second and Brit Will Clarke, was ninth. Alistair and Jonathon have virtually reserved their Olympic places, which leaves just one place to fill on the Olympic team. There are plenty of contenders for the coveted place including Tom Bishop. Bishop won the Senior National Championships at Windsor on his first attempt and last year came second in the Junior World Championship, he recently said that his life at the momement consists of ” eating, sleeping and training”. Bishop considers the triathlon run his best discipline and his objective now is to qualify for the Olympic Team. Veterans, Will Clarke and Tim Don may have other ideas about who should take the final spot, Bishop said recently “there's a lot of people going for that last spot but, if my training continues to go as well as it has been, I've got a chance”.
Helen Jenkins won her second World Triathlon Championship after finishing runner up ,in the season ending Final, in Beijing the day after Brownlee took his title. This follows her win in August at the Hyde Park triathlon in London, when she won in some style and met GBs selection criteria for the 2012 Olympics. After the race she said ” That hurt so much. I just kept running and running”. Jenkins who finished 21st at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 is not guaranteed selection as others may also qualify, giving the selectors a wider choice of competitors to choose from. Jodie Stimpson who was placed 14th at Hyde Park, Vicky Holland and Scot, Kerry Lang, will also have their eyes set on London 2012.