ITU to host Elite Sprint and Team World Championship in Lausanne
(Vancouver, Canada - 2 March, 2010) - The International Triathlon Union is pleased to announce the addition of the inaugural ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship to its 2010 race calendar, to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland on August 21. Additionally, Lausanne will host the ITU Team Triathlon World Championship on August 22. These two events will replace the Lausanne ITU Triathlon World Cup event, previously scheduled for the same weekend. There will be $100,000 in prize money on offer over the weekend's racing. The weekend festival of racing will also contain an age-group competition that is expected to attract a large number of competitors.
"We are very excited to host the ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship and the ITU Team Triathlon World Championship in Lausanne, a city with a history of great sporting events," said ITU President Marisol Casado. "The distances are short, exciting and we think the spectators and viewers will enjoy watching our athletes race at such a high intensity. The shorter-distances present a great opportunity for our younger athletes to compete in the sport in a sustainable way."
Competitors in the ITU Elite Sprint Triathlon World Championship will complete a 750-meter swim, 20-km bike and 5-km run. Each of the four athletes in the ITU Team Triathlon World Championship will complete a 275-meter swim; 6 km bike and 1.5-km run.Each team will be comprised of two men and two women, racing in the order of female-male-female-male. After each athlete finishes his or her swim-bike-run segment he or she will tag the next athlete in the relay for the exchange.
The 2009 ITU Team Triathlon World Championship was hosted by Hy-Vee in Des Moines, Iowa, alongside the prestigious Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon Elite Cup, with the Swiss Team taking home top honours, topping Australia by only eight seconds. Team Canada rounded out the podium.
A sprint-distance triathlon and a 4 x mixed relay triathlon will be on the programme for the first-ever Youth Olympic Games, set for Singapore on August 14-26, 2010. For more information on the Youth Olympic Games visit www.singapore2010.sg.
Side Note:As with the Cross World Championships, holding a sprint world championship event is one of the steps on the checklist for inclusion into the Olympic Games.
There are just a few important races left to score the all-important points that determine which countries get three, two, one or no athletes on the start line for the Olympic Games.
The first important race occurs this weekend and is the 2008 Lisbon ETU Triathlon European Championships. This race is considered a Continental Championship race, earning more points than a World Cup event, less than a World Championship event. For the points breakdown, look here.
There will be no USA athletes at this race, because it is a Continental Championship event. The Continental Championship event for the USA was the 2008 Mazatlan PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championship event, held the same weekend as the Tuscaloosa trials race. Our top-ranked athletes (sans Shoemaker, who already has his Olympic slot) were all at the Tuscaloosa trials race. While the trials race was exciting, there were no ITU points awarded for this event. Points are critical, especially now, as you know.
Jesse, you noticed that Polyansky popped past the USA and we lost our third men's slot. Not only did he step past the USA, he also stepped past Switerland's Olivier Marceau. Now Switzerland becomes the country we need to beat out to be the last country to secure three slots.
Unfortunately for the USA, Switzerland and Russia will have the opportunity to score points this weekend, while the USA (Hunter Kemper, Matt Reed) and Australia (Brendan Sexton) will not.
Dmitri Polyansky (RUS - three country slots): 2500
Olivier Marceau (SUI - three country slots): 2452
Hunter Kemper (USA- two country slots): 2359
Matt Reed (USA): 2305
More than likely, Polyansky and Marceau will both pass Sexton this weekend for accumulated points at this weekend's race.
Polyansky is working from a base of thirteen races, only nine of which count in the total, so his lowest scoring race will be dropped. Marceau is working from a base of only five races, so any points he accumulates will count in his total.
The next race that counts is Madrid. All of the men discussed above are on the start list for that race. As discussed previously, watch for all of the countries discussed above to be positioning their bubble-points person (or people) for a maximum points score. For us, Friman (World Rank = 72), Fretta (WR = 114) and Seymour (WR = 181) should all be working for Kemper and Reed to help them get that third country slot.
Recall, athletes must be ranked in the top 125 in the ranking to be eligible for the Games.
The final race that counts is the World Championships in Vancouver on June 8th. All of the contenders will be there as well.
After the European Championships, I can give you a better guess at what needs to happen for the USA to get that third slot back.
If we do not get the third men's slot back by the end of the World Championships race (the cut off for Olympic ranking points), Big Matty Reed loses his Olympic slot. The final slot will be determined at the Des Moines race. Carefully read the USAT's Amended Selection Criteria at this link to see the selection process in print.
You can watch the European Champs as well as the Madrid race live on the ITU website, Tricast Live.