Maya Kingma: WTCS Montreal absence ‘has everything to do with format’

Dutch star Maya Kingma says she is not racing at WTCS Montreal this weekend because of the ‘Eliminator’ format involved.

Kingma, who currently leads the standings as the countdown to the Edmonton finals later this month heats up, made her feelings public in the strongest of manners in an Instagram post on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old says she believes the format has no place in WTCS, and explained that her absence from the Canada event this weekend was nothing to do with her recent Tokyo exertions and that upcoming challenge in Edmonton.

Maya Kingma on Montreal absence

Kingma explained: “As the current leader of the WTCS, I am receiving many questions as to why I’m not racing in Montreal.

“This has nothing to do with resting, but everything to do with the new ‘supersprint/eliminator’ format. In my opinion, this is a totally different discipline within triathlon, much as OD racing is to a full distance Ironman.

“Therefore it has no place within our World Championship series.”

Kingma made it clear she will continue to race Super League Triathlon, which kicks back into top gear in September. She believes that is a great event in its own right, but explained in detail why she believes the Montreal format is a mistake.

“Yes, I will race @superleaguetriathlon which is fun and a great event on its own. An exciting format where WTCS (and other triathlon) heroes are showcased around the world. I’ve trained for OD’s for 11 years. So, why is this supersprint a different discipline? A few key points:

– Obviously, the distance and time
– The amount of racing in a weekend: up to 5 supersprints. So multiple all-out 1,5k run sprints is not something everybody is capable of
– The tactics: a supersprint, is just that, a sprint, so all out and a lot less tactical
– More emphasis on running: the transition is a lot of running as well, which adds up in such a short event
– Less time to cope with bad luck: getting held up in the swim, or someone crashing in front of you, there is just no time to make that up
– The unfairness of not racing the entire field in the series: imagine the difference between two heats if in the one heat you have a strong swimmer as Jess Learmonth, and a strong runner as Beth Potter in the other, how can you compare these results?

Kingma says she is not alone

“In short, this format should not have been forced upon us by including it in the WTCS and should be a stand-alone event or series. I am one of the few who has the choice to not race in Montreal and not totally throw away my WTCS ranking, even though I’m taking a risk because my 11th place in the Olympics isn’t ideal.

“I am not alone in my opinion about this format and it is something I’ve heard from other athletes. However, it is difficult to be heard. Many athletes tried to speak up, since there are a lot of strange things going on with the 2020-2021-2022 WTCS races, for example, including the Olympics, including new formats, starting 2022 season in 2021 etc. But this is difficult, because our careers depend on these series.”

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