Founded in 1989, The International Triathlon Union is the recognized international governing body of the sport of triathlon around the world. The official distance for triathlon was set at a 1,500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer draft-legal bike and a 10-kilometer run.
This standard distance is used for the ITU World Triathlon Series and is featured at the Olympic Games.
For more information about the ITU, go to triathlon.org
The ITU sanctions many races around the world, including the World Triathlon Series, World Cups and Continental Cups.ITU Rankings can be found at triathlon.org
Elite Incentive Program
USAT will provide performance-based incentives to elite athletes throughout the 2013 season. Please review the 2013 USAT Elite Athlete Incentive Plan to see what performances and events qualify.
Athletes must hold an elite license to race in the above events. To review the USAT Elite License Qualification Criteria please visit this page Elite Membership Qualification Standards.
Key International Events
Many athletes grew up dreaming of representing their country at the Olympic Games and standing atop the medals podium. For triathletes, that gold medal dream became more of a reality in 2000 when the sport was added to the Olympic program at the Sydney Games. Four years later, the U.S. received its first medal when Susan Williams finished third in Athens, Greece.
London 2012 Olympic website
USAT's Olympic page
Pan American Games
The Pan American Games occur every four years always the year before the summer Olympic Games. This competition is reserved for members of the Pan American countries which include North, Central and South America well as the Caribbean. Guadalajara, Mexico will host the 2011 Pan American Games.
USAT's Pan American Games page
ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS)
Newly renamed for 2012, the ITU World Triathlon Series allows the world’s top athletes to compete head-to-head on an ongoing basis. This format features eight world-class events and an exciting Grand Final.
ITU World Triathlon Series website
USA Triathlon's 2013 ITU World Triathlon Series page
ITU World Cups
With the advent of the World Championship Series, the World Cup events have become slightly less competitive than in previous Olympic quads. As “second tier” events, the World Cup provides the perfect stepping stone to the top level WTS and provides an opportunity to gain valuable ITU, WTS and Olympic points, albeit at a lower level than the WTS events.
ITU Continental Cups
The International Triathlon Union holds a series of elite races on each continent that are more developmental in nature and offer smaller prize purses and international points. These races are ideal for the younger or less experienced athletes to learn to compete and become successful in elite triathlon before graduating to the World Cup and World Championship series events.
USA Triathlon Performance Pyramid
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