ITU Board meets in Madrid to prepare World Triathlon for the Olympic year

The ITU Executive Board has met for two days in Madrid, Spain, in the last meeting of the 2019 season, looking forward to a year that will bring not only the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, but also a great number of challenges and opportunities for the sport to continue growing.

"It has been an intensive weekend planning and defining the direction of our organization for the next year, with some really important decisions taken that will bring ITU one step forward on our path for excellence within sports organizations, and also that will allow us to continue showcasing the sport in the best possible way in all five continents, providing athletes with a safe and fair field of play", said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.

Taking place when Madrid was getting ready to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, one of the main topics on the agenda for the Executive Board was the recently created Sustainability Commission.

With ITU being one of the few International Federations that has signed the Sport for Climate Action network, and with the commitment of reducing by 50% the organization’s CO2 emissions by 2030, the Board reviewed the extensive analysis of the carbon footprint of the organization, and put in place different measures to make sure that not only our events are implementing actions to reduce the impact, but also the individuals within the organization show their own commitment with sustainability. "We in ITU take our responsibilities to the planet very seriously. We are working as an organization on how we can mitigate our carbon footprint and ensure we are following best practices to keep our impact on the planet to a minimum", said Casado.

Under the leadership of ITU President, Marisol Casado, the Executive Board waded through a heavy agenda, including a review of the financial statements, the approval of the Staff Handbook, an increase on the budget for anti-doping testing of 35% and a careful review of the plans regarding the upcoming major events, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

The Board also approved some changes in the Exceptional Heat Illness Prevention Guidelines, a document that will be distributed not only with organisers but also with athletes and coaches, in order to help them prepare well in advance for events like the Olympics.

The President also met with the five Continental Presidents -Ahmed Nasser from the African Triathlon Union; Renato Bertrandi from the European Triathlon Union; Justin Park from the Asian Triathlon Union; Peter Edge from the Oceania Triathlon Union and Liber Garcia from the American Triathlon Union- and signed all five Development Contracts, that will help the Continental Confederations to put in place development programs for athletes, coaches, officials and events.

The Board meeting, wich started with a minute of silence in the memory of the recently deceased President of the Romanian Federation, Peter Klosz, gave the green light to the appointment of the Technical Delegate for the 2022 Dakar Youth Games, Bex Stubbings (GBR), and reviewed the selection process of Technical Delegates in all ITU events. They also approved that in 2020, the Olympic Games will count as a series event for the WTS rankings, with 5 races plus the Grand Final counting for the World title.

The Executive Board also addressed the Global Safety Task Force, that is doing a comprehensive study on fatalities around triathlon, and discussed the implementation of the Female Coaches Project and the Mentorship programme, both programmes already in place to keep increasing the female presence within our sport and that will help developing countries to strength in their leadership capabilities, given them the opportunity to develop within the triathlon world.

The Executive Board took the decision to create from 2022 and onwards, a new event to be added to the calendar, the Sprint and Team World Championships, that will be comprised of the Age Group Sprint, Age Group Mixed Relay, Junior, Junior/U23 Mixed Relay and Elite Mixed Relay World Championships, along with an Elite Super Sprint Semi-final and Finals event that will be part of the World Triathlon Series. For the first edition in 2022, the event was awarded to Montreal (CAN). The Elite World Championships, along with the Standard Distance and the Super-sprint Age Group, Paratriathlon and U23 World Championships will be hosted in Abu Dhabi in 2022.

Lastly, the Executive Board appointed the company RBL Brand Agency for the full rebranding of the International Federation. After presentations from three different design agencies, the Board selected RBL Brand Agency for their "creative, innovative and supportive approach, as well as for their vast experience in this field to help us face the upcoming years with a renovated strategy and image to take our sport even further".

The International Triathlon Union is the world governing body for the Olympic sport of Triathlon and all related MultiSport disciplines including Duathlon, Aquathlon, Cross Triathlon and Winter Triathlon. ITU was founded in 1989 at the first ITU Congress in Avignon, France. It has maintained its headquarters in Vancouver, Canada since then and also has offices in Lausanne, Switzerland and Madrid, Spain. It now has 172 affiliated National Federations on five continents and is the youngest International Federation in the Olympic Games. Triathlon was awarded Olympic Games status in 1994 and made its Olympic debut in Sydney 2000. Triathlon is also featured in the Asian Games, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games. Paratriathlon was accepted into the Paralympic Games in 2010 and made its Paralympic debut in Rio 2016. ITU is proudly committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide through strong relationships with continental and national federations, working with its partners to offer a balanced sport development programme from grassroots to a high-performance level. For more information, visit: www.triathlon.org

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