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Definite article

In my English textbook the author keeps using definite article when mentioning triathlon. I thought it should not be used with sports...
If someone could clarify please.


  • @kzrarkovic, the trialthlon isn't a sport. It's an event.

    The sport can be called athletics or track and field — both without the.

    Look at some other sports where a competition is divided into events — swimming, for example, or cycling. I think you'll find that the is the regular norm.

  • kzarkovickzarkovic
    edited May 2019

    @DavidCrosbie, Oh, thank you very much.

  • I now see it's not quite so simple.

    It's true that the pentathlon and the decathlon are events in the sport called athletis _or _track and field. But I was wrong to say the same of this other race — which is a combination of three events from three sports.

    I'm pretty sure that most people say and write the triathlon for at least two reasons:

    • because all the other sporting words with -athlon are events with the
    • because they see it as a race — even though it's the only event at a meeting

    However, some people do seem to view it as a sport. So they say and write triathlon.

    Another mixed-sport -athlon is the biathlon. This always (I think) has the, because it's an event in winter sports competitions.

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