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Saturday, November 12, 2011
Open Water Swimming Leads The Pool And Triathlons
After the successful inclusion of mixed-gender team pursuit relays in open water swimming, the triathlon world - and perhaps less likely the pool swimming world - seem to agree their open water swimming colleagues are onto something big.
The International Triathlon Union announced that the Triathlon Mixed Relay will be officially added to the 2018 Commonwealth Games and perhaps added to the Glasgow 2014 Games. The format was also accepted by the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
While the International Triathlon Union has grasped the mixed-gender team relay as a popular and innovative format of the sport, the open water swimming community has proven the mixed-gender team pursuit relays are fun, exciting and competitive.
In contrast, many pool swimming coaches hold the opposite opinion for the pool swimming community after FINA recently floated the possibility of pool mixed-gender relays.
So while open water swimming national teams like Australia have their open water swimming superstars like Ky Hurst and Melissa Gorman join forces in a 5 km team pursuit relay at the 2011 World Swimming Championships, the triathlon world is also heading in that direction.
Marisol Casado, the International Triathlon Union President and an IOC member, said, "We are delighted the Commonwealth Games has embraced the Triathlon Mixed Relay. The event offers a wonderful opportunity for men and women to race together for one Commonwealth medal, signalling the importance of balanced development and performance in the sport. We believe the discipline can offer the spectators, press and broadcasters a wonderful experience, while placing almost no additional costs on the organising committee as the same venue can be reused and no extra athletes are required."
While the standard open water swimming team pursuit relay consists of three individuals, at least of one gender, where the official time is the time of the last swimmer, the Triathlon Mixed Relay consists of four athletes: two men and two women, who each complete a short, intense triathlon of a 250m swim, 5 km bike and 1.2 km run in the order woman, man, woman, man. The new format has enjoyed phenomenal success since the discipline changed from the original single sex team format in 2009. The recent Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in Switzerland saw athletes compete from all five continents.
Those World Championships were broadcast 253 times over 93 hours around the world where over 571 million TV contacts were documented. That success has emboldened the triathlon world to lobby for the Triathlon Mixed Relay event to be added to the 2016 Rio Olympics. The International Triathlon Union will submit its official bid next year to the IOC.
With the success in the open water swimming world, there is no doubt that the mixed-gender format will take off in sports where open water swimming is involved.
Photo shows a mixed-gender team pursuit team from the Pacific Open Water events in Long Beach, California.
Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.