Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2024) 23, 358 - 365   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2024.358

Research article
Race Dynamics in Triathlon Mixed-Team-Relay Meaningfully Changes with The New Regulation Towards Paris 2024
Jesús Martínez-Sobrino1, Jesús S. Del Cerro2, José M. González-Ravé3, Santiago Veiga1, 
Author Information
1 Departamento de Deportes, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
2 Department of Statistics, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain
3 Sports Training Laboratory, Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain

Santiago Veiga
✉ Departamento de Deportes, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Email: santiago.veiga@upm.es
Publish Date
Received: 21-01-2024
Accepted: 26-04-2024
Published (online): 01-06-2024
 
 
ABSTRACT

Mixed-Team-Relay (MTR) triathlon is a novel Olympic discipline whose performance determinants and tactical behaviors have barely been studied. Additionally, a regulatory change has been made to the male and female relay order for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the performance determinants and race dynamics as a function of competitive level on the new regulated MTR triathlon. Results from 129 national teams, (516 elite triathletes) across five MTR World Triathlon Series and two MTR European Championships in 2022 and 2023, were analyzed. Split times, average speeds, time behind the race leader (gap), partial and finishing positions, pack position as well as the rank positions of every segment, relay leg, and overall race were computed. Decision tree analyses were conducted as a predictive method for the overall results, and correspondence analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between the different relay legs and segments and the finishing positions. The performance of the fourth leg was the most relevant for overall result (30%), as well as the fourth running leg (16%) and the female legs performance (7%). Medallist relay teams were characterized by displaying a differential speed lower than 0.5 and 0.83 km/h, respectively, from the best-ranking athletes in the Legs 1 and 4. Furthermore, staying in the front pack after the second swimming leg showed a great relationship with achieving a medal position. New MTR triathlon rules shift race dynamics, emphasizing individual efforts in cycling and swimming, while maintaining the crucial importance of running.

Key words: Swimming, cycling, running, competition, packing, tactics


           Key Points
  • The new male-female-male-female order meaningfully changes race dynamics in triathlon Mixed-Team-Relay.
  • The performance of the first and fourth relay legs and being positioned in the first pack after the initial relay leg are key factors for achieving medallist positions.
  • A greater importance of the cycling and swimming segments was detected compared to the previous regulation. However, running performance remained the most decisive discipline, with medallists recording the best running splits.
 
 
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