Age-group triathlon: does the system need a shake up?

Representative age-group racing should be celebrated as a great triathlon success story – at its best when those new to the sport realise they have a talent for swim, bike and run and find a route to sporting achievement. With the categories topping out with the 85-89-year-old age-group in last year’s ITU world champs on Gold Coast, it clearly provides invigorating competition, irrespective of age.


It should therefore retain athletes in triathlon for longer, and create camaraderie and a sense of pride in flying the nation’s flag. 

Yet its governance is one of the sport’s most thorny issues, and while occasional gripes are unavoidable, sometimes decisions really raise hackles. Such was the case when British Triathlon decreed that age-group competitors wanting to represent in 2019 must buy the latest kit, going against a ruling from the ITU that previous years’ race uniforms would suffice.