The West African country of Benin has hosted its first ever triathlon and it was a cross tri.
Called the “Tri for the Planet” as an emphasis on environmental concerns, the event was a collaboration between the U.S. Mission and the Benin Ministry of Sport. Sixty one athletes competed in the event with over 100 spectators including the Beninese Minster of Sports.
Though not directly associated with the recently announced collaboration between the ITU and the African Triathlon Union, the Tri for the Planet exemplifies the recent rapid growth of triathlon on the African Continent.
It should come as no surprise the race was a cross tri as Benin has 16,000 km of road with only 1400 km of that being paved. If triathlon is going to break into Africa it would seem cross triathlon will be the necessary format.
DirtTRI is currently working on an expanded piece on this event. But, for now find a gallery, video, and press release below.
All photos courtesy of Jorge Serpa
From Cotonou United States Embassy:
Mission Hosts First Ever Triathlon in Benin (May 7, 2016)
On May 7, the U.S. Mission in collaboration with Benin Ministry of Sports and local partners organized the first ever triathlon in Benin, called “Tri for the Planet” with an emphasis on the environment.
Sixty-one athletes competed and the award ceremony was attended by more than 100 people including Beninese Minister of Sports, and Ambassador Lucy Tamlyn and Barry Siff , President USA Triathlon.
The event received heavy media coverage on radio, TV, and print and appears to be on track to become an annual event.