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American trio go for gold in women's triathlon at Tokyo Olympics

The U.S. won its first Olympic gold medal in triathlon in 2016 and a trio of American women hope to win gold again for Team USA in Tokyo.

WASHINGTON — Three Americans will be vying for gold on Monday in the women's triathlon. 

They'll not only be facing the other competitors, but they'll have some wet weather to deal with. 

The start of the race got pushed back 15 minutes to 5:45 p.m. Eastern to allow extra time for race prep because of a "strong band of rain" moving through the area, the official account for World Triathlon announced

Summer Rappaport, Taylor Knibb and Katie Zaferes from the United States will be competing. The American women lead the ITU rankings heading into Tokyo. Knibb, 23, is the youngest woman ever to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team.  

In 2016, Gwen Jorgensen gave the United States its first Olympic gold medal in the sport. It was an incredible performance from Jorgensen, who finished 38th at the 2012 London Olympics. Jorgensen announced in 2017 that she was moving from triathlon to running, but failed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. 

Olympic Triathlon Distances

In the individual events, athletes cover a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.

The course at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo Bay will also be hosting the first Olympic mixed triathlon. Like the men's and women's individual events, it will be an early-morning start to take into account expected high temperatures and oppressive humidity in Tokyo. The mixed race on July 31 starts at 7:30 a.m. local time, an hour later than the two individual races. Two women and two men compete in the mixed. The men and women alternate during the race. Each swims 300 meters, cycles for eight kilometers and runs for two kilometers before tapping the hand of their teammate to extend the relay. 

Triathlon Olympics false start

The men's triathlon got off to an awkward start after a wayward boat caused the first false start in Olympics triathlon history. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.