ITU World Championship titles to be awarded at WTS Hamburg

Chief Correspondent

The one-day World Championship is back… by default

Hamburg will be the last 2020 WTS race standing

Since its introduction in 2009, the ITU World Triathlon Champion has been decided by the season long World Triathlon Series (previously known as the World Championship Series), with Vancouver being the last one-day World Championship for the senior Elite titles in 2008.

The impacts of COVID-19 mean that, following news (below) that rescheduled dates for both Montreal and Bermuda have both no been cancelled, only the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon remains.

The Executive Board of the ITU have also just confirmed that Hamburg – taking place on 5th September – will also decide the 2020 ITU World Champions.

There is also news on the 2021 ITU Grand Final – which will actually be finals – with events being split between Edmonton (August) and Bermuda (October).

Here is the latest update from the ITU.


2020 World Triathlon Champions to be crowned at WTS Hamburg 

In a teleconference meeting, the World Triathlon Executive Board approved the awarding of the 2020 World Championships titles in Hamburg, at the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon event to be held on September 5. This decision follows the Board’s approval of the cancellation of the other two remaining events of the 2020 World Triathlon Series, the Groupe Copley World Triathlon Montreal and the MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda.

Bermuda – cancelled

After receiving a comprehensive update of the status of the events worldwide, and following numerous discussions with local organisers, National Federations and governments, the Board approved the request of Triathlon Canada to cancel the Groupe Copley World Triathlon Montreal event and the 2020 Montreal Paratriathlon World Championships, planned for October 3-4, as well as the request, due to the current COVID 19 outbreak impacting events worldwide, by the organisers of the 2020 MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda and the Bermuda Paratriathlon World Cup to also cancel the events, planned for November 2020.

ITU World Triathlon Montreal 2019
Montreal – cancelled

With Hamburg remaining as the only WTS event of the 2020 season, and following the World Triathlon Series current contractual obligations, the decision was made to award the World Championship Titles in this race, with the Mixed Relay World Championships also taking place in Hamburg on September 6. Start lists for the event are currently full for the male, female and Mixed Relay races, with current World Champions Katie Zaferes (USA) and Vincent Luis (FRA) ready to toe the start line along with double Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) and multiple World Champions such as Mario Mola (ESP), Flora Duffy (BER) or Vicky Holland (GBR), among many others. Quotas will be increased in 10 athletes per gender to allow 65 men and 65 women to compete.

Katie Zaferes / ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne

Karlovy Vary (CZE) and Arzachena (ITA) will host the next World Cup races on 13 September and 10 October respectively, while Alhandra (POR) will play host to the only Paratriathlon World Cup of this season also on the weekend of 10 October, a year that has been heavily impacted by the pandemic worldwide. Unfortunately, the Paratriathlon World Championships won’t take place in 2020.

After many months of deliberations to ensure the best outcomes for all stakeholders, the Executive Board decided to split the Grand Final already for 2021. Edmonton (CAN) will host the Grand Final in August – Elite and U23 Olympic distance, Age-Group Olympic and Super-Sprint distance events – whilst Bermuda will organise the Sprint and Mixed Relay World Championships in October, i.e. the Super-Sprint for the Elites, Elite World Championships, Junior World Championships, Age-Group Sprint World Championships and the Mixed Relay World Champs for all categories. The 2021 Paratriathlon World Championships will be hosted prior to the Paralympic Games, in a third location to be determined in future Board meetings after opening the bidding process, then receiving and reviewing proposals from organisers.

“Athletes, coaches, National Federations and ourselves… we all know this has been and still is a very strange year with endless challenges, and that we need to make the best decisions humanly possible in the best interest of all concerned. We know that announcing that the World Championships title will now, following the cancellation of the two events, be contested at the only event left on the calendar and that there is little advanced notice of this announcement, is far from ideal. We want to assure you that it is not just the best option but the only option we have to give our athletes the chance to compete and showcase their best at this level. I really want to thank the organisers, the German Federation and the World Triathlon staff for their commitment and efforts to make this opportunity, under challenging circumstances, possible. We appreciate their helping all the athletes and coaches travel to Germany to compete despite some travel restrictions and their setting up of an event and a course that I am sure will be magnificent”, explained World Triathlon President and IOC member, Marisol Casado.

“Sport can be a great tool on the road to recovery, we are slowly going back to this new normality, and we are doing everything we can to support the athletes, organisers, national federations and all our partners on this journey. The health and safety of all the athletes is our first priority, and keeping that in mind, we will make every effort to deliver a great event and crown the World Champions”, she said.

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
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