The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed the two ITU athletes selected by the Tripartite Commission to receive invitation places for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in triathlon. Those athletes are:
Duffy has shown tremendous promise on the ITU circuit. At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, she was a precocious 18-year old racing with the elite women and finished an impressive eighth place. Later that year she was a silver medalist at the 2006 junior world championships in Lausanne. In 2007 Duffy raced to her best world cup finish ever, a fifth place in Lisbon, Portugal.
“Flora has great potential. She had a hard second half of 2007 but this selection is just the motivation she needs to make sure 2008 is a wonderful year,” said Libby Burrell, ITU Director of Sport Development.
One of the most promising sports stars in Syria, Tayara finished tenth at last year’s Asian Championships after only starting to compete at the elite level in September 2004. He will be the first Syrian triathlete to ever compete in the Olympic Games.
“Omar is a talent with a wonderful personality that is a great asset to our sport. His selection is a fantastic boost for Syrian Triathlon,” said Burrell. “Both Flora and Omar’s selections will give them the inspiration they need to push on with their preparation and take the pressure off racing and exhausting budgets ahead of Beijing.”
According to the rules defined by the IOC Executive Board, no other National Olympic Committees (NOC) were eligible to receive invitation places in Triathlon. The main priorities of the Tripartite process are NOCs which have yet to qualify athletes for Beijing or NOCs which have traditionally sent small delegations to the Olympic Games. Both Duffy and Tayara must still meet the minimum eligibility criteria to compete in Beijing, which means both must be ranked in the top 125 of the ITU Olympic rankings.
The Tripartite Commission consists of the IOC, Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and ITU.
Flora Duffy at the 2006 Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Championships
Omar Tayara at the 2007 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships