This year will see the Commonwealth Games return to England for the first time since 2002, with the most successful triathlon nation in the Games’ history looking to use home advantage to add to the tally.
Manchester was the host when triathlon was first introduced to the Commonwealth Games, with Team England winning gold when mixed relay was introduced in 2014 and gold in both the men’s and women’s PTWC races as paratriathlon made its debut in 2018.
In the twenty years that swim, bike, run has been included in the Games, England have won five gold medals, three silvers and one bronze, with all nine medals being won at either Glasgow 2014 or Gold Coast 2018.
There will be four races for English to add to this medal collection, with individual men’s and women’s triathlon and PTVI paratriathlon and mixed relay triathlon.
With the action focused around Sutton Park on 29 and 31 July, there will be two days of swim, bike, run racing for home fans to cheer on their heroes. The first day will see the individual triathlon take place, with PTVI paratriathlon debuting alongside mixed relay two days later.
The swim will take place in Powell’s Pool for all the races, with the bike taking athletes onto the surrounding roads before they transition to a run which will take place entirely within the park.
All the individual racing will be raced over the sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), with the mixed relay triathlon seeing the quartets complete a 300m swim, 5km bike and 2km run each.
Team England Triathlon Lead, Jonathon Riall said: “It felt like we’d never get over 2021, so to be post Olympics and Paralympics and into the Commonwealth Games year with a home Games is really exciting.
“A home Games is incredibly unique and some athletes will go through their entire career never having had the privilege of competing on home soil, so to have the event in Birmingham is a huge opportunity for the athletes but also the coaching and support staff.
“We’ve got some really exciting milestones across the coming months, including the first visually impaired triathletes racing at the Commonwealth Games to be announced alongside the wider team through 2022.
“From an English perspective, we’ll be going into the Games as the home nation knowing that whichever athletes are selected, that they have contended at the highest level and will be among the strongest on the start line, and we’d love to see crowds cheering on the athletes at Sutton Park and the roads around it should that be possible in July.”
Marking the build up to the Games is the Queen’s Baton Relay, whereby a message from the Queen that will be read out at the opening ceremony on 28 July travels 90,000 miles across the Commonwealth.
The message is carried in a specially designed baton. The baton was conceived in an innovative West Midlands collaboration that fuses art, technology, and science and champions the individuality in humanity and celebrates bringing people together.
With Birmingham 2022 making history by being the first major multi-sport event to award more medals to women than men, the strength and fortitude of women across the Commonwealth is celebrated throughout the design of the baton.
Also taking place around the sporting action will be the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a celebration of creativity and opportunity for artists, a youth programme and a recognition programme for those who make a difference to their communities in the West Midlands.