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Fittest athletes on the planet converge on Hamilton Island

Alistair Brownlee will headline the new League Triathlon series to begin tomorrow on Hamilton Island.
Alistair Brownlee will headline the new League Triathlon series to begin tomorrow on Hamilton Island. Peter Carruthers

TWNETY THREE of the fittest athletes on the planet, including Alistair Brownlee, have arrived on Hamilton Island for the inaugural Super League Triathlon series.

Super League Triathlon co-founder Chris McCormack described the event, which starts on Hamilton Island tomorrow, as a "slam dunk".

Speaking at a media briefing at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club this morning, McCormack said he remembered the "glory days of the sport" and said the new Super League Triathlon format would cater to those looking for change to the conventional triathlon format.

The new agenda will see the Olympic formant significantly reduced from a 10km run, 40km bike ride and 1.5km swim to a 300m swim, 6km bike and 2km run in the Triple Mix event.

Athletes will then have a 10 minute break before a second and third round in which the order will be mixed up.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee from Great Britain, who has come to north Queensland from the European winter to compete, he said the heat and humidity would make it tough for all the competitors.

"That is what it is and I am going to have to deal with it and race a bit slower and look after myself," he said.

Brownlee said he thought the new format was "fantastic".

"There are a few different strands to the idea, the first one being the format to the races over a few days, which I think is fantastic," he said.

Brownlee also said the short, sharp format would make the sport more viewer friendly on television and allow fans to take an interest in the personalities driving the competition.

"It should make great, entertaining sport," he said.

McCormack, a former triathlete himself agreed, saying Super League Triathlon was designed to appeal to people who had never seen the sport before.

"Unfortunately under the conventional model of triathlon it's getting less and less media attention so by (tailoring) the sport to TV we are exposing it to a new group of people who may have never seen it before," he said.

McCormack noted that when putting together the field for the inaugural Super League Triathlon Alistair Brownlee's name was at the top of the list.

"He is the best in the world and when you put formats like this together it challenges whether you truly are the best in the world," McCormack said.

"There is a lot of question marks about Alistair being the world's best athlete in the conventional style of racing and that is not how triathlon was born.

"It was a test of ability in swimming, biking and running.

"No one ever discussed any order that just came about naturally.

"So when we sat down with him I said, 'if you truly are the best let's see if you can do it if we switch the orders around'.

"He was one of the first to put his hand up and say 'sign me up'.

"We have put together the best 25 athletes on the planet, it's a very exciting time for the sport.

"These are the fittest men on earth.

"They are racers they are aggressive and they are competitive. The world needs to see them."

The race series will be broadcast on Fox Sports Australia and throughout Europe via Eurosport.

Race rundown

March 17 - The Triple Mix

Round 1 - Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)

10-minute break

Round 2 - Run (2km), Bike (6km), Swim (300m)

Round 3 - Bike (6km), Swim (300m), Run (2km)

March 18 - The Equalizer

Part 1 - Cycling individual time trial

Part 2 - Pursuit Swim (300m), Run (2km), Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)

March 19 - The Eliminator

Round 1 - Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)

Top 15 finishers of Round 1 proceed to Round 2

Round 2 - Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)

Top 10 finishers of Round 2 proceed to Round 3

Round 3 - Swim (300m), Bike (6km), Run (2km)

The first athlete across the finish line in Round 3 is the overall winner of Eliminator.

 

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