IRONMAN has announced additional qualifying opportunities to attract more age-group women athletes to compete in triathlon’s 2024 World Championship in Nice.
The race organiser, which heralded the at-times controversial Kona/Nice split as “historic”, has updated the slot allocation opportunities in a bid to boost the field in the South of France next season.
There are now four ways in which age-group athletes can qualify for Nice, with the traditional qualifying process supplemented by three different types of invitational slots.
How to qualify for IMWC Nice 2024
Athletes can qualify via Age-Group Qualification, 2023 IRONMAN World Championship Age Group Top 10 Invitational Slots, IRONMAN 70.3 Invitational Slots and Top Age Group Ranked Invitational Slots, with the details explained below.
“Age Group Qualification – Athletes are able to secure a slot via the age-group qualification process at one of over 30 IRONMAN races globally. All IRONMAN events will have dedicated quantities of female IRONMAN World Championship slots allocated proportionally to age-groups and awarded to the fastest finishers via a roll down process where the slot rolls to the next fastest, if not claimed.
“2023 IRONMAN World Championship Age Group Top 10 Invitational Slots – The top ten female finishers of each Age Group category at the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i will be invited to accept a slot to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. Validation of slot will be required. Note, these slots do not roll down should an eligible finisher decline their invitation.
“IRONMAN 70.3 Invitational Slots – The top five finishers in each age group at select IRONMAN 70.3 triathlons around the world will be invited to accept a slot to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Nice, France. Note, these slots do not roll down should an eligible finisher decline their invitation.
“Top Age Group Ranked Invitational Slots – Female athletes who finished top of their age group for the 2023 year-end Age Group Rankings will be invited to accept a slot to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Nice, France. Official, finalized age group rankings will be communicated in early January 2024. Validation of slot will be required.”
Messick on qualifying changes
IRONMAN Group CEO and President Andrew Messick shared the reasoning behind this move, which comes as age-group athletes begin to plan their race calendars for next year.
“We have just seen a compelling standalone IRONMAN World Championship women’s race, and know how critical a vibrant women’s race is to the continued growth of our sport. We want the best and most deserving athletes at the start line next year in Nice.
“In looking beyond traditional qualifying slot allocation, we will recognize exceptional skill, ability, and dedication, while also maintaining the integrity of the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship as the ultimate stage for the fastest and most competitive athletes in the sport.
“The 2023 women’s VinFast IRONMAN World Championship showcased this, and we are excited to provide additional qualifying opportunities to attract more athletes that can perform at a world championship level to the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship in Nice next September.”