Athletes from multiple countries may secure their Olympic spots this weekend.
While it’s still 12 months until the triathlon competitions at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the start lists for both the men’s and women’s gold medal races could become a little clearer after the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series London round next weekend.
While the number of places on the start line for each country comes down to a complex qualifying system, plenty of National Federations have set London as an part of their national qualifying criteria. Put simply, it means that some athletes can secure their Olympic spots next weekend.
One of those most likely to gain that early qualification is Paula Findlay. Canada’s qualification rules state that an athlete needs to finish top eight in London, and at least one top eight finish in an Dextro Energy Triathlon Series event between 1 June 2010 and 31 May 2011. Findlay has won three series titles in that time, and comes into London as the defending champion.
U.S athletes also have a straightforward way of gaining an automatic qualification, the two highest finishing athletes in London – providing they come in the top nine – will qualify. Sarah Groff, who became the first ever American woman to win a Dextro Energy Triathlon Series medal when she finished third in Kitzbühel, and Laura Bennett both have multiple top nine finishes already this season. In the men’s field, Hunter Kemper hasn’t competed in many series races so far this year, but he does have a World Cup win and two World Cup podiums to his name this year. If Kemper can qualify, it will be his fourth successive Olympics Games.
Read more: International Triathlon Union