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Who’s On Track for 2016 Rio Olympic Games Qualification

Disclaimer: There are two points that I must touch on as they are pivotal to the concept of 2016 Olympic Qualification.  Firstly, quota places 1, 2, and 48 are the only ones currently guaranteed based on the qualification criteria.  All others listed below represent qualification fulfillment as if the 2016 Rio Olympics were to occur tomorrow.  There will be many fluctuations between today and May 15 2016, the end of the Olympic Qualification period.  Secondly, each quota slot and corresponding name, represents a quota slot earned for a National Olympic Committee, not a quota slot earned for an individual.  Each NOC determines their own criteria to determine which athlete will be selected to compete in the Olympics using that slot.  This table shows which NOCs are on track for earning a slot, and which athlete earned it.

 

Overview

There are a maximum of 55 Olympic Quota Slots available per gender, and a maximum of 8 NOCs can earn 3 slots.  No NOC is eligible to earn more than 3 slots, and no athlete can earn more than 1 slot for their NOC.  The minimum eligibility standard to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is to earn a slot for your NOC at either a World or Continental Olympic Qualification event, or be ranked among the top 140 in either the ITU Olympic Qualification List, 2015 World Triathlon Series Ranking, or the ITU Points List.  As a whole, the thorough Olympic Qualification Criteria set forth by the ITU will ensure that the field of competitors will consist of major-event winners, consistent season performers, and up-and-coming standouts.

 

Criteria
Continental Olympic Qualification Events

Quota slots 1-5 are designated to the NOC of the male and female winner of each of the 5 Continental Olympic Qualification Events (not to be confused with a Continental Championship). The European Games in Baku, AZE and the Pan-American Games in Toronto, CAN are the only two events to have taken place so far this Olympic qualifying term. See the table for information regarding the future 3 events.

 

World Olympic Qualification Events

Quota slots 6-8 will be allocated to the NOCs of the top 3 male and female finishers of the Olympic Test Event to be held in Rio de Janeiro, BRA on August 2 2015. Amongst other NOCs, USA Triathlon has chosen the Rio Test Event as part of the criteria for Olympic Team selection.  According to their published criteria USAT  will make 2 slots for the 2016 Rio Olympic Team available per gender, to the best 2 US athletes in the overall top 8 at the Rio Test Event.  The third team slot will be available at an unannounced race in 2016.

 

ITU Olympic Qualification List

Quota slots 9-47 will be allocated based on an athletes overall position on the 2016 Rio Olympic Qualification List.  The criteria for this ranking system takes into account an athlete’s best performances in four tiers of competition over the course of the entire 2-year Olympic Qualification Period (May 15 2014 – May 15 2016).  Interestingly enough, performances at a Continental Olympic Qualification Event (Baku Games, Pan-Am Games, etc) do not count towards an athletes Olympic Qualification List ranking.  However, the Rio Test Event and Grand Final performances (1 Grand Final score per year) contribute the most points towards an athlete’s Olympic Qualification List ranking.  World Triathlon Series events, World Cups, and Continental Championships make up the only remaining events that contribute to this specific ranking.

 

Host Country

Quota slot 48 is designated to Brazil if and only if they do not earn a quota slot by any other criteria.  Based on the table below, if the 2016 Olympic Games were tomorrow, Brazil would earn a slot for each gender, and slot 48 would not be allocated.

 

Tripartite Commission Invitation

Quota slots 49 and 50 will be allocated to NOCs who submit invitations to the International Olympic Committee between October 15 2015 – January 15 2016.  These slots are traditionally granted to NOCs with small representation in the Olympic Games.  If invitation slots are not awarded according to invitations, they will go to the next-best NOC on the Olympic Qualification List.

 

ITU Points List

Quota slots 51-55 are allocated to the highest ranked athlete on the ITU Points List whose NOC has not already earned a slot.  As there are 5 slots allocated through this criteria, 1 slot is designated per continent.  This final criteria extends the breadth of competition for each continent and ensures maximal representation

 

Upcoming Opportunities

With the current Olympic Qualification Period extending until May 15 2016 there are still many opportunities remaining for athletes to secure quota places for their respective NOCs.  The 2015 Rio Test Event, is undisputedly the best upcoming opportunity for those athlete’s wishing to either win a quota slot for their NOC, earn points to increase their Olympic Qualification List ranking, or meet specific performance criteria set by their respective NOC.  Additionally, the 2015 World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Chicago, IL provides the same amount of Olympic Qualification List points as the Rio Test Event, and also plays into the Olympic Team selection criteria set by many NOCs.

Although allocated in my table below, the following male quote slots are currently available:

51 : Any NOC (Africa) other than RSA to break into top 140 on ITU Points List

55: Any NOC (Oceania) other than AUS and NZL to break into top 140 on ITU Points List

2016 Rio Olympic Games Quota Places

Quota PlaceCriteriaFemaleNOCMaleNOC
1European Olympic Qualification Event (Baku, AZE) Nicola SpirigSUIGordon BensonGBR
2Pan-American Olympic Qualification Event (Toronto, CAN) Barbara RiverosCHICristiano GrajalesMEX
3Oceania Olympic Qualification Event (Gisborne, NZL)Future Event (19 - 20 March 2016)
4African Olympic Qualification Event (Buffalo City, RSA)Future Event (20 March 2016)
5Asian Olympic Qualification Event (Hastukaichi City, JPN) Future Event (29 April - 01 May 2016 )
6-8 World Olympic Qualification Event (Rio de Janeiro, BRA)Quota places will be given to the top 3 athletes. 2 August 2015
9ITU Olympic Qualification ListGwen JorgensenUSAAlistair BrownleeGBR
10ITU Olympic Qualification ListAndrea HewittNZLMario MolaESP
11ITU Olympic Qualification ListKatie ZaferesUSAJavier Gomez NoyaESP
12ITU Olympic Qualification ListSarah TrueUSAJonathan BrownleeGBR
13ITU Olympic Qualification ListAileen ReidIRLRichard MurrayRSA
14ITU Olympic Qualification ListVendula FrintovaCZEFernando AlarzaESP
15ITU Olympic Qualification ListAi UedaJPNVincent LuisFRA
16ITU Olympic Qualification ListLisa PertererAUTJoao PereiraPOR
17ITU Olympic Qualification ListYuka SatoJPNSven RiedererSUI
18ITU Olympic Qualification ListClaudia RivasMEXRyan BailieAUS
19ITU Olympic Qualification ListRachel KlamerNEDPierre Le CorreFRA
20ITU Olympic Qualification ListAnnamaria MazzettiITADmitry PolyanskiyRUS
21ITU Olympic Qualification ListNicky SamuelsNZLHenri SchoemanRSA
22ITU Olympic Qualification ListJuri IdeJPNAlexander BryukhankovRUS
23ITU Olympic Qualification ListEmma MoffattAUSAlessandro FabianITA
24ITU Olympic Qualification ListJodie StimpsonGBRTony DoddsNZL
25ITU Olympic Qualification ListPamella OliveiraBRAIrving PerezMEX
26ITU Olympic Qualification ListEmma JacksonAUSJarrod ShoemakerUSA
27ITU Olympic Qualification ListCharlotte BoninITARichard VargaSVK
28ITU Olympic Qualification ListGillian SandersRSAJoao SilvaPOR
29ITU Olympic Qualification ListRebecca RobischGERIgor PolyanskiyRUS
30ITU Olympic Qualification ListAshleigh GentleAUSDavide UccellariITA
31ITU Olympic Qualification ListVicky HollandGBRDorian ConinxFRA
32ITU Olympic Qualification ListFlora DuffyBERKevin McdowellUSA
33ITU Olympic Qualification ListSophia SallerGERDan WilsonAUS
34ITU Olympic Qualification ListMargit VanekHUNRostyslav PevtsovAZE
35ITU Olympic Qualification ListMateja SimicSLOJoe MaloyUSA
36ITU Olympic Qualification ListPaula FindlayCANAndrea SalvisbergSUI
37ITU Olympic Qualification ListAinhoa MuruaESPDiogo SclebinBRA
38ITU Olympic Qualification ListSara VilicAUTLuciano TacconeARG
39ITU Olympic Qualification ListHanna PhilippinGERGregor BuchholzGER
40ITU Olympic Qualification ListKirsten SweetlandCANSteffen JustusGER
41ITU Olympic Qualification ListMaaike CaelersNEDJacob BirtwhistleAUS
42ITU Olympic Qualification ListSarah-Anne BraultCANYuichi HosodaJPN
43ITU Olympic Qualification ListLucy HallGBRMiguel ArraiolosPOR
44ITU Olympic Qualification ListAlice BettoITALeonardo ChaconCRC
45ITU Olympic Qualification ListKatrien VerstuyftBELGábor FaldumHUN
46ITU Olympic Qualification ListDitte KristensenDENAndrew YorkeCAN
47ITU Olympic Qualification ListAlexandra RazarenovaRUSBryan KeaneIRL
48Host CountryBrazil is guarunteed 1 quota place if not already qualified
49-50Tripartite Invitation ComissionInvitations submitted October 15 2015 - January 15 2016
51ITU Points List AfricaFabienne St LouisMRIWian SullwaldRSA
52ITU Points List AmericaElizabeth BravoECUManuel HuertaPUR
53ITU Points List AsiaHoi LongMACValentin MeshcheryakovKAZ
54ITU Points List EuropeYulia YelistratovaUKRRon DarmonISR
55ITU Points List OceaniaSimone AckermanNZLRyan SissonsNZL

World Triathlon Series Prize Money – Year To Date

With the hiatus between WTS London and Hamburg upon us, I thought this would be a great opportunity to track where the prize money has been allocated this year-to-date.  Being knee-deep in the Olympic qualification period for the 2016 Rio Games, athletes must carefully choose which races in which to toe the line, in order to maximize their their potential for prize money, meeting Olympic qualification standards, and fend off injury.  To those of us on the sidelines, this period of racing can be as confusing as it is entertaining.  I plan to keep track of prize money allocations and Olympic Quota Slot allocations, and hopefully post updates as the qualification period unfolds.

Prize Money Primer

The ITU has guidelines for how prize money is to be allocated for each tier of racing and can be found here.  But in short, the purse is equal for Men and Women, and pays 20 deep for a standard WTS event and 25 deep for the Grand Final, the winners earning $18,000 and $30,000 respectively. To provide some perspective for the breakdowns provided below, the WTS has allocated $900,000 in total prize money so far this season across men and women.

YTD Winnings by Gender (Would you mind holding my purse?)

Without further ado, allow me to direct your attention to the below chart, specifically the comparison between men and women.  Although the men and women don’t compete directly in competition, they compete indirectly in terms of media expose and support from respective national federations.  Upon first glance at the chart below, one thing is glowingly the obvious; the Women of the USA (F-USA) appear to be the most dominant by a long shot across both genders.  To add some perspective, F-USA ($202,100) has claimed 45% of the YTD female prize pool and has 5.8 times the amount earned by the second most dominant country F-AUS ($34,700).  Comparatively, F-USA has earned almost as much as the two most dominant male teams M-ESP ($138,000) and M-GBR ($102,700) combined.

In looking at the breakdown of the F-USA winnings per athlete, we can see how each of the 10 money earners has contributed to this season’s dominance.  The top 3 earners for F-USA, Gwen Jorgensen ($90,000), Katie Zaferes ($56,000), and Sarah True ($26,000) are also the top 3 overall female earners, as well as the top 1, 2, and 4 athletes in the WTS rankings.  Furthermore, Jorgensen and Zaferes have each personally earned more prize money this YTD than any other opposing women’s country or any single male competitor.

YTDWTSWinningsByCountry

Entire Women’s Field

The below chart displays every single female WTS prize money winner this YTD, their cumulative prize total, and which races their prize money came from.  In total, 58 different women (compared to 66 men) have earned prize money from the previous six races.  The shape of this chart isn’t altogether unexpected because the names at the pointy end of the results list tend to remain the same from race to race, whereas the field fluctuates more and more as we move down the long tail.  What doesn’t immediately stand out due to the nature of this chart is the number of races from which an athlete has earned prize money this season. However, it is worth noting that several women outside of the top 5 earners have repeatedly won prize money this year.

Also worth noting is the effect of the WTS Cape Town winnings (Orange) on the overall prize purse distribution.  The Cape Town event is of interest as it is the only WTS event this year that Gwen Jorgensen has not participated in.  In total, 11 of this season’s 58 prize winners have earned the majority of their cumulative total winnings from competing in Cape Town, compared to 7 women each from the next highest event.

YTDWTSWomenBreakdown

 

Entire Men’s Field (for comparison)

 

YTDWTSMenBreakdown