Nottingham is set to host the first triathlon Mixed Relay Series event next year ©British Triathlon

The new Mixed Relay Series in Nottingham will give athletes the chance to add points to their Olympic qualification ranking in their pursuit of a place at Tokyo 2020.

The mixed relay format, a new triathlon initiative which will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, involves teams that comprise of two men and two women who each complete a short course triathlon before ‘tagging’ their teammate to do the same.

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) say "With unpredictable drama and the display of team pride, the triathlon mixed relay format is triathlon racing at its most thrilling. It is also a great chance to show the world what we are made of - we are a federation who strongly believe in gender balance and we showcase it at every single event."

Nottingham hosted the Mixed Relay Cup in September ©British Triathlon
Nottingham hosted the Mixed Relay Cup in September ©British Triathlon

British Triathlon chief executive Andy Salmon is excited by the prospect of next year’s event in Nottingham following the success of the Mixed Relay Cup in September.

“Nottingham was a fantastic host of this year’s Accenture British Triathlon Mixed Relay Cup and we are thrilled to be back again in 2018, this time to showcase even more triathlon talent from across the globe,” he said.

“With the added incentive of the opportunity to pick up vital Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying points, Nottingham can expect performances of the highest quality from some of the world’s top sporting heroes.”

Marisol Casado, President of ITU and IOC member, added: “We are absolutely delighted with the launch of the Mixed Relay Series.

“Since we have had the Mixed Relay added to the Olympic Programme, we have wanted to push all athletes and most of all, all national federations to join us and vie for one spot which will allow the teams to fight for another Olympic medal.

“I am sure that all teams will shine brightly in the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham for the debut of the Series.”

Two days after the event in Nottingham, the athletes will head north to Leeds to compete in the British leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series.

The competition will then head to Hamburg, Germany, for the Mixed Relay World Championship, which, according to Oliver Schiek, IRONMAN managing director in Germany, is the highlight of the triathlon calendar.

“During the last five years, the Mixed Team Relay World Championship has become one of the highlights of the Hamburg event," he said.

"We are therefore very proud that, together with the city of Hamburg and the German Triathlon Union (DTU), we succeeded in getting this great format back to the Alster Lake in 2018.

"With the top competitors, the short distances and the thrilling drama, the Mixed Relay World Championship will be the crowning element of the world's largest triathlon party again.”

The last leg of the Mixed Relay series will take place in July in Edmonton, Canada, alongside the World Triathlon Series race.