By Karen Price | July 16, 2017, 7:53 p.m. (ET)
Athletes from the United States (L), Australia (C) and the Netherlands (R) celebrate on the podium at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships on July 16, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.

 

The U.S. team of Kirsten Kasper, Ben Kanute, Katie Zaferes and Matt McElroy won silver at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships on Sunday in Hamburg, Germany. Kanute and Zaferes are 2016 Olympians.

Team USA finished just four seconds behind Australia at the first international event held since the International Olympic Committee announced last month that the event would join the program for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

In the mixed relay format, each athlete (two men, two women) completes a 300-meter swim, 7-kilometer bike and 1.6-kilometer run and then tags the next teammate. The team with the fastest combined time wins.

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Last year, the U.S. won the event with Kasper, Kanute, Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen and Olympian Joe Maloy. The medal is the third the U.S. has won in the nine-year history of the event.

The title was the first for Australia, which won with a time of 1:22:38. The U.S. finished in 1:22.42, while the Netherlands took third in 1:22:47.

The IOC and International Triathlon Union announced the addition of the mixed team relay on June 9. The event will be held in 2020 at Tokyo’s Odaiba Marine Park, the same venue that will host the men’s and women’s triathlons.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.