Anthropometric Profiling of New Zealand Junior Elite Triathletes


Introduction: The triathlon involves a combination of three separate disciplines-swimming, cycling and running. To date, very few studies have been conducted on the anthropometric characteristics of the New Zealand junior elite triathletes. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between physical traits of calf girth or sum of eight skinfolds (anthropometry) and running or cycling performances in the triathlon event.

Methods: Eleven junior elite triathletes (6 females, 5 males; (Av. age: 17) who were selected for the New Zealand national squad, were examined in this cross-sectional study. All athletes were measured for the complete anthropometric profile, as per the International Society for Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) guidelines. It was then correlated with the cycling and running performances using interclass correlation (ICC) with 90% confidence interval (CI) limits. 

Results: A non-significant positive correlation observed between eight skinfolds tests on running performance (ICC: 0.10; 90% CI: -0.68–0.77; p>0.05) and biking performance (ICC: 0.15; 90% CI: -0.65–0.79; p>0.05), suggested athletes with greater body fat may render a better athletic performance. Conversely, a significant negative correlation was observed between calf girth and running performance (ICC:-0.66; 90% CI: -0.94 – -0.12; p<0.05) and a non-significant negative correlation was observed between calf girth and cycling performance (ICC:-0.94; 90% CI: -0.97– 0.68; p>0.05).

Conclusion: Anthropometric data can help in predicting an ideal body profile. This research indicates the similarities and differences of the New Zealand junior profile and the world junior profile.


Keywords: Body fat, Skinfold, Sport, Anthropometry, Triathletes
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