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Michael Pavitt: Baku 2015 women’s triathlon adds early prestige to European Games

If you having been paying attention to the top of the insidethegames site you will have noticed our countdown clocks ticking down to various upcoming Games taking place across the world and on Friday (June 12) Baku 2015 hit zero.

As the countdown finally came to an end it represented the adding of the missing fifth ring of the Olympic Movement, so Europe’s first Continental Games has been billed by European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Patrick Hickey, while personally it represented my first multi-sport event as a journalist.

However, something that may go under the radar throughout the Games will be the number of times Azerbaijan will be holding their first international competition in a particular sport, as they did yesterday with triathlon.

Granted the host nation may not have held an international triathlon event before as it is a sport that remains relatively young, having only made its Olympic debut 15 years ago at Sydney 2000. But the sport has continued to grow in popularity since.

Prior to its debut, I remember watching Britain’s Simon Lessing record one of his many victories at what was then known as the London Triathlon, where if my memory serves me correctly, he also won a car for setting a course record one year. Yet, despite being the favourite heading into Sydney, he was unable to take gold and the prestige associated with the title.

 

 

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