CANADA, Vancouver - The International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced today that the IOC Executive Board has awarded 5 additional spots for the triathlon competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This brings the total number of athletes in the 2008 Olympic triathlon competition to 55 men and 55 women.
The IOC Executive Board met this past weekend in Italy prior to the opening of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games to review requests from a number of International Federations to increase their quotas for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Triathlon was one of only five sports to have its request for additional competitors approved. The other four sports were taekwondo, cycling, fencing and modern pentathlon.
I am delighted of the news, said ITU President, Les McDonald upon hearing the announcement. This is a great step in our goal to have more countries represented in the triathlon at the 2008 Olympic Games. This decision directly supports our sport development programme and further acknowledges the value our sport has within the Olympic family.
This is a positive step for the development of triathlon and the ITUs goal of increasing the number of flags at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports and continues to capture the attention and imagination of the international sport community.
The ITU will modify the current Olympic Qualification Criteria document to factor in these additional spots
Below is the letter received from the IOC.
Following the IOC Executive Board meeting in Turin on 5-7 February 2006, I wish to inform you of the latest decisions concerning the Olympic programme for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, in 2008.
The Executive Board decided to increase the number of athletes in triathlon by five additional men and five additional women for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
In the meantime, I remain