The International Triathlon (ITU) and the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees (UANOC) has announced that Triathlon and the Triathlon Mixed Relay have been added to the programme of the Arab Games. Both events will be contested for the first time at the 2015 Arab Games in Beirut, Lebanon.
ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado and newly appointed ITU Executive Board member Ahmed Nasser were both in Doha for a reception hosted by ITU for the announcement during the 2011 Arab Games.
The reception was attended by 21 Arab participating NOC representatives as well as Arab sports Ministers, Arab IOC members and Arab league representatives.
The current Arab Games in Doha is the 12th edition, which started in 1953 in Alexandria, Egypt. Eight Arab nations competed in the inaugural Games.
The Games are organised by the Union of Arab National Olympic Committees (UANOC), which was founded in 1976 and is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, under the presidency of IOC member Sultan bin Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
In Doha this year, there are 29 different sports on the programme as well as 6000 athletes, over 1500 media and 4000 volunteers. There are 22 participating countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.
This announcement marks another successful year for the growth of both triathlon and the mixed relay. Triathlon debuted in the All Africa Games in 2011, while the mixed relay made its South American Beach Games debut, and recently the format was also added to the programme for the Commonwealth Games. A record 35 teams from 28 different countries also competed in the 2011 Team Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne.