The African Triathlon Union was founded in 1993 in Gordon’s Bay near Cape Town. The first African Olympic distance Triathlon Championships took place on 20 March 1993 in Gordon’s Bay. Three hundred athletes from Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa competed in the event. Nineteen year old Conrad Stoltz (1:48:19) and Hannele Steyn (2:03:34) from South Africa were the winners of the Elite race.
Initially the African Championships took place every second year – the second event went to Trout beck Inn in Nyanja, Zimbabwe and the third to Mauritius. When the Sydney Olympic qualifying criteria came out, the status of the African Championships increased as the continental qualifying spot was awarded to the winner of the last event before the Olympic Games, while the annual championship events awarded ITU world-ranking points.
One of the oldest international Triathlon events in Africa is the Mariental Triathlon hosted at the Hardap Dam in Namibia. Initially the event was called the Sub Sahara International Triathlon and later it became an International Triathlon Union event, as the ITU Mariental African Cup.
In 2005 the ITU initiated continental triathlon cups in all five continents. The series formed part of the ITU world ranking series. South Africa, Namibia, Mauritius, Kenya and Tunisia hosted African Cup events at exotic venues like la Coco Beach in Mauritius, Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya and Jasmine Hammamet on the Mediterranean coast of Tunisia.
In 2006 the first ITU World Cup event took place at Richards Bay, South Africa. It was followed with two more World Cup events in 2007 and 2008 and brought fame to South African organization skills and hospitality.
Today the African Triathlon Union has spread its wings over the continent of Africa and with a strategic goal of more federations, new development initiatives has taken the sport to countries like Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria and Madagascar.
The African Triathlon Union has strong partnerships with their National Federations, the other Regional Confederations and the International Triathlon Union. Developing the sport towards 2012 is based on good teamwork and sharing the same values and goals.