With seven months until the Olympic triathlon events will be contested at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, USA Triathlon has confirmed the qualification events to determine the final spots on the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Triathlon Teams.
Elite triathletes will vie to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team on May 15 at ITU World Triathlon Yokohama. In order to automatically qualify, an athlete - male or female - must finish on the podium. If no U.S. athletes finish on the podium or additional spots remain on the team roster, athletes will be nominated to the team based on their standing in the USA Triathlon Objective Rankings System. The current standings are available at usatriathlon.org (PDF).
Gwen Jorgensen (St. Paul, Minn.) and Sarah True (Hanover, N.H.) have already met the qualification standards for the women's team based on their finishes at the Rio de Janeiro ITU Olympic World Qualification Event, held Aug. 2, 2015, on the Olympic course. Jorgensen won the event, while True finished fourth. USA Triathlon anticipates fielding a team of three women and three men based on the current ITU Olympic Qualification List. The triathlon events in Rio will take place on Aug. 18 for the men and Aug. 20 for the women.
Paratriathletes are set to compete on March 13 in Sarasota, Florida, at the CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships in hopes of meeting the criteria for the first-ever U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team. The remaining provisional spots will go to the highest-finishing American who has not already qualified, provided they finish within the top one-third of race starters in each sport class and within 5 percent of the winner's time. If no athletes meet this criteria, a provisional spot will be awarded to athletes who met this criteria in September 2015 at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Chicago.
Krige Schabort (Rome, Ga., PT1), Mark Barr (Houston, Texas, PT2), Hailey Danisewicz (Chicago, Ill., PT2), Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah, PT4), Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio, PT4) and Patricia Walsh (Austin, Texas, PT5) all met the qualification standards to provisionally secure the first spots as the top U.S. finishers at the Rio de Janeiro ITU World Paratriathlon Event on Aug. 1, 2015, on the Paralympic course. Danisewicz's spot was confirmed on Sept. 18, when Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.) won the PT2 world title at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.
Remaining country quota spots will be determined by the paratriathlon rankings as of June 30. The confirmed U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team will be officially named shortly thereafter. A maximum of two athletes per sport class (men's PT1/wheelchair, PT2/severe impairment and PT4/mild impairment; women's PT2, PT4, PT5/visual impairment) may earn spots for their country, for a possible team size of 12. Paratriathlon will make its Paralympic debut in 2016, with the events scheduled for Sept. 10 and 11.
Initial start lists for ITU World Triathlon Yokohama and the CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships will be posted at triathlon.org 30 days prior to the race.
USA Triathlon is also currently accepting applications for individuals wishing to be considered for positions of bicycle mechanic and massage therapist as a part of the USA Triathlon delegation (additional officials) for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Individuals who meet the criteria for the team bicycle mechanic or massage therapist may submit a resume/CV along with information to support the eligibility conditions to Andy Schmitz at email@example.com by March 15. Qualification criteria is available at usatriathlon.org (PDF).
Additional officials and coach selection procedures for the U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team will be available online next month.
Full criteria for all U.S. triathletes and USA Triathlon support staff for the Olympic and Paralympic Games is available at usatriathlon.org/gamescriteria.