World Triathlon announce field size expansions following WTCS Abu Dhabi cancellation

World Triathlon have announced changes to the number of starts available at the remaining races in the Olympic Qualifying window this year.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Scheduled to take place last weekend, the first World Triathlon Championship Series of the year in Abu Dhabi was abruptly cancelled on race day, due to extreme weather conditions.

As a result, a number of athletes and national federations were left out of pocket and also with a major dilemma on their hands, as the Olympic Qualifying window for the Paris Games draws to a close.

Because of the inconvenience caused by the cancellation, World Triathlon confirmed earlier this week that some start lists would be expanded as a result, but no Mixed Team Relay event would be added to the calendar.

Increase to the sizes of start lists approved

With the qualifying window closing at the end of May, there are only a small amount of top level races remaining for the best athletes in the world to gain valuable ranking points.

Bet Potter WTCS Montreal 2023 on bike
Photo Credit: Janos M. Schmidt / World Triathlon

In an internal memo to national federations, World Triathlon confirmed that their Executive Board had approved an increase in the start lists for World Triathlon Cub Races in nine locations.

“Following the cancellation of last weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi, […], World Triathlon’s Executive Board has agreed to approve an increase to the sizes of start lists at the World Triathlon Championship Series, World Cups, World Triathlon Para Series and World Triathlon Para Cups within the Olympic and Paralympic qualification periods. 

“The World Triathlon Championship Series races in Yokohama and Cagliari will see extended entries from 55 to 60 per gender, while the start lists at those World Cups to be hosted before 28 May – Hong Kong, Chengdu, Huatulco, Samarkand and Wollongong – will increase from 65 to 70 athletes per gender. 

“In the case of the World Triathlon Para Series Montreal and Para Cups of Taranto and Besancon, the increase will be of two athletes per gender and per medal event.”


No replacement for the Mixed Team Relay event

Whilst concessions have been made for the individual racing schedule, World Triathlon confirmed that there will be additional Mixed Team Relay event before the end of the cycle, with the final race held at the World Triathlon Cup in Huatulco.

Mixed Team Relay France podium WTCS Sunderland 2023 photo credit: World Triathlon / Petko Beier
[Photo credit: World Triathlon / Petko Beier]

“After consultation with the Coaches and Athletes Committee, World Triathlon has decided that there will be no replacement of the Abu Dhabi Mixed Relay Series event.

“The Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Rankings on the 25th March [will be the final event], as in the current criteria and proceed with the Mixed Relay event in Huatulco as the only Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Event as initially scheduled.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.


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