Renato Bertrandi: Mixed Relay Triathlon will bring excitement, fast pace, drama to Glasgow
For the first time in 2018, outside of triathlon being part of other major games’ environments, we will see our ETU European Triathlon Championships become part of a pan-European, multi-sport event.
With two host cities, Glasgow and Berlin, there will be 12 days of top-level sporting Championships, shared across Europe and enjoyed by a television audience that will most certainly break records.
As our new sport, the “Young Kid on the Block,” takes centre stage alongside what are regarded to be the “Crown Jewels” in terms of Championship events – Athletics, Swimming, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Golf – we know that the television audiences as well as those spectators lucky enough to attend our Championships will be thrilled by the racing in our sport.
The triathlon will be hosted in Glasgow, where the 2014 Commonwealth Games took place. Where Henri Schoeman broke away with the Brownlee Brothers. Where the IOC was able to witness the electric excitement of the Mixed Team Relay, and where the people of the city welcomed athletes from all over the world.
Glasgow has a big heart. Glasgow can offer a great and warm welcome, and we are sure the city is looking forward once again to being the centre of attention as our champion athletes race the technical course at Strathclyde Country Park.
By combining our Championships, for the Elite and, indeed, for our Age Group athletes over the Sprint Distance, we can be assured a far higher profile in terms of media exposure and this can only be of real benefit to our sport in the widest sense.
In Glasgow 2018, we will see Europe's best elite triathletes race the standard distance but also compete in the excitement, fast pace and drama of the Mixed Relay event.
Here two men and two women form a team and each undertake a 250m swim, a 6km cycle and a 1.6km run.
The ETU, athletes and fans alike all welcomed the IOC announcement last week to include the Mixed Relay event in Tokyo 2020, so it will be a fantastic to see the Mixed Relay showcased in Strathclyde Park.
One of the unique aspects of the European Triathlon Championships is our Age Group Championships. Glasgow will welcome 1,200 Age Group athletes who will represent their country and also get the opportunity to race on the same course as the elite athletes and experience everything Glasgow has to offer.
By combining seven key sports in the 2018 European Championships celebration there is a clear chance that other European cities will, in the future, see the sustainable advantage of hosting these Championships. Indeed, even before the 2018 event has been held, there has been interest shown by potential cities and countries, all keen to showcase their existing venues.
We are fast approaching the 2017 ETU Championships, which this year will be co-hosted by Kitzbühel (16-18 June) and Düsseldorf (24 June), with the Standard Distance being raced in Austria and the increasingly popular Sprint Distance being raced in Germany.
It is certain that as soon as these events have finished, both Elite and Age Group athletes alike will be planning for 2018, and, as we already know, Glasgow can certainly deliver.
Renato Bertrandi, European Triathlon Union President