By Duncan Mackay in Singapore
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

August 19 - Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), today witnessed the introduction here of team triathlon at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games, an event the International Triathlon Union (ITU) is campaigning to be included  on the programme at Rio 2016.

Austria's Alois Knabl, a bronze medallist in the individual event, edged out the Youth Olympic champion Aaron Barclay, from New Zealand, in a thrilling finish, claiming the gold medal for Team Europe 1.

Teams were made up of two women and two men from each continent, according to the athletes' finishing positions in the individual events.

Each of the four participants in the relay completed a super-sprint triathlon - a 250 metre swim, 7 kilometres bike, 1.7km run - before tagging a team member to start the next leg.

On the eve of the opening of the Games here, Rogge had mentioned team triathlon along with other sports' new formats as an "interesting innovation", reflecting the Olympic programme changing attitudes to sport and society.

"All of these are designed to appeal to a younger audience and inspire the young athletes," Rogge had noted.

After watching it close-up, Rogge seemed enthusiastic about the new format.

"It's an exciting event - whether it will come to the traditional Games is another question," he said.

"This is something we will have to discuss.

"We are going to analyse everything first."

But Marisol Casado, President of ITU and member of IOC, is hoping that the success of the event here will help her persuade Rogge to back its introduction for Rio, where teams from individual countries would compete instead of continents.

"We believe team triathlon has tremendous appeal to youth, and can help expose a new generation to this wonderful sport," Casado said.

"With a number of lead changes, plenty of unpredictable dramas and the display of team pride, today, we proved it. 

"[The] ITU is very passionate about having the discipline added in the Olympic programme to inspire youth to take up this wonderful sport.

"It was really a very good step for us [today] because we had the opportunity to show the programme to the people who decide.

"The decision must be made [at the IOC Session] in 2013, so we are good on time to prepare everything.

"I think we are on a good way."

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