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Updated: 2006-08-18 22:54
Triathlon  Olympic sport since 2000

Competitors participating in the Ironman Triathlon start the swimming leg in Nice, southeastern France, June 25, 2006. Competitors will swim 3.8 km (2.4 miles), then cycle 180 km (110 miles), before finishing with a 42.195 km (26 miles) run. [Reuters]

While taekwondo and triathlon both debuted as the newest Olympic sports at the Sydney 2000 Games, triathlon was literally the newest sport. Although the origins of taekwondo date back thousands of years, the triathlon dates back to 1978.

The first triathlon was held in the south-western United States city of San Diego in 1974, in many ways an outgrowth of the California jogging craze. The ultimate endurance test, it requires athletes to excel at three very different pursuits - swimming, cycling and running. The sport demands particularly intense discipline because each area requires a high-level training schedule.