WHAT IS THE ITU WORLD TRIATHLON SERIES?
Beginning in 2009 the ITU World Triathlon Series is a premier series which expanded the previous single World Championship event into a series of seven, first-class events and a Grand Final. With the support of top-tier partnerships and sponsorships the new series will allow for exponential growth in athlete prize money, TV coverage and sport exposure.
The events take place in world-class cities, against iconic backdrops such as the Opera House in Sydney, Mission Beach in San Diego and Buckingham Palace in London. Throughout the series, top athletes will accumulate points as they compete head-to-head at each event. The series will culminate at the Grand Final where the year's top athletes will be recognised and awarded as the World Champion.
The series will follow the standard Olympic distance of: 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run
WHY DID YOU DEVELOP THIS SERIES?
ITU has identified a significant opportunity to harness the energy and spirit from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games into a high-profile international series which allows the world's top athletes to compete head-to-head throughout the year. This consistent level of competition not only allows for increased sport profile, but also pushes the athletes to a higher level of competition as the sport looks towards London 2012.
It is our hope that by developing a series of this magnitude, opportunities for public sector funding will continue to open up, encouraging global cities to see the value in hosting ITU World Triathlon Series events.
WHAT HAS ATHLETE REACTION BEEN TO THE NEW SERIES?
Athlete response to the new series has been overwhelmingly positive. The athletes understand more than anyone the need to evolve the sport by bringing it to a mass audience.
We are confident that each year, as an increasing number of athletes recognize the benefits, the series will continue to grow and accumulate a following, both on a competitor front and among spectators.
Quote from Emma Snowsill, 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and three-time ITU Triathlon World Champion:
"For us, the athletes, this is phenomenal. It is a pretty amazing thing. The benefit of live TV is it creates a season. People will know when to watch and when to tune into triathlon. It is moving in the direction that everyone wants to see it".
HOW CAN ATHLETES QUALIFY TO COMPETE IN THE SERIES?
Similar to the current process, National Federations (NF) will enter athletes and the start list will based on the current athlete's ranking.
Each NF will be given a maximum of six athletes with the host NF being given a maximum of eight spots. A maximum of 65 men and 65 women will make up the elite category with up to 75 men and 75 women in the Grand Final.
With each ITU World Triathlon Series event there will be an open age group race.
HOW ARE POINTS ACCUMULATED?
Athletes will be able to use a combination of points from the Grand Final, ITU World Triathlon Series events and ITU Triathlon World Cups to build a final ranking. They may use a total of four races (combination of World Series and World Cup races) plus the Grand Final to count towards their final ranking.
HOW DO ATHLETES QUALIFY FOR THE GRAND FINAL?
Athletes qualify through a detailed qualification process which takes into account his or her world championship ranking, ITU Points standing and respective continental championships.
Complete details can be found here.