Objectives: In 1997, anthropometry measures were made to determine the body size and shapes of both senior and junior elite triathletes. Since then, the junior event distance has changed and the optimal morphology of participants may have evolved. Thus the objective of this study was to compare the morphology of 1997 World championship junior elite triathlon competitors with junior elite competitors in 2011.
Design: Comparative study of junior elite triathlete kinanthropometry.
Methods: Twenty-nine males and 20 females junior elite competitors in the 1997 Triathlon World Championships underwent 26 anthropometric measurements. Results were compared with 28 male and 14 female junior elite triathletes who competed in the 2011 Australian National Junior Series, as qualifying for 2011 Triathlon World Championships. Comparisons were made on the raw scores, as well as somatotype, and body proportional scores.
Results: Both male and female junior elite triathletes in the 2011 group were significantly more ectomorphic than their 1997 counterparts. The 2011 triathletes were also proportionally lighter, with significantly smaller flexed arm and thigh girths, and femur breadths. The 2011 males recorded significantly longer segmental lengths and lower endomorphy values than the 1997 junior males.
Conclusions: Junior elite triathlete morphology has evolved during the past 14 years possibly as a result of changing race distance and race tactics, highlighting the importance of continually monitoring and updating such anthropometric data.
Keywords: Anthropometry; Morphology; Proportionality; Somatotype; Triathlon.
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