The staging of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay Triathlon on Sunday 31 July in Sutton Park, Birmingham, will be historic for Barbados, marking the first time the island has competed in this event.
Athletes who made the qualifying criteria for the Mixed Relay are Matthew Wright, Niel Skinner, Zahra Gaskin, and Chara Hinds – a mix of elite and varsity athletes who will be pitted against Olympic medalists, World Champions and elite triathletes.
Wright, whose name is synonymous with triathlon in Barbados, holds elite status, will also be competing in the individual sprint triathlon event (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) as he looks to kick start his road to qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris while residing in the UK.
The athletes will be competing as a four-person team, each of whom completes a mini triathlon consisting of a 300m swim, 5km bike, and 2km run. The Mixed Relay Triathlon event is a super-sprint with a slightly different combination than the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Barbados’ ability to participate at this high level of competition may be attributed to the consistently improving status of local talent in the triathlon discipline and the support of the Barbados Olympic Association. With a respectable depth of talent across both males and females, the pipeline of emerging athletes training and competing through the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes makes the future of Barbados triathlon look promising.
At the last Commonwealth Games in Australia, the winner was the host country in a time of 1:17.36. The Triathlon Relay was then contested for the first time at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, with the winner being Great Britain in a time of 1:23.41.
The qualification standards for the event were established by BFIT following analysis of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and these were ratified by the BOA.
The sprint triathlon event will be contested on July 29 and the mixed relay on July 31. Barbados is expected to be one of the leading Caribbean nations represented at the event.