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Ironman announces changes to Kona slot allocation

Ironman has extended the qualifying window for this year's Ironman World Championship - Ironman Canada now has 60 spots for this year's race in Kona.

Ironman has announced “adjustments to the slot allocations for the 2020 Ironman World Championship based on qualifying events that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The transition area full of bikes at the 2019 Ironman World Championship. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Yesterday we were wondering what Ironman’s options might be based on all the race postponements due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic – today we got a bit of an answer.

Ironman has extended the qualifying window by a week – from August 23, 2020 to August 30, 2020. That means Ironman Canada will now serve as both a qualifying race for the Ironman World Championship in 2020 and 2021. The race will offer 60 qualifying slots for this year’s race in Kona in addition to 40 slots for the 2021 race.

That will be a tight turnaround for athletes who qualify this year – the Ironman World Championship is scheduled for October 10.

Related: The Kona conundrum

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Two other races that are scheduled for August 23, Ironman Kazakhstan and Ironman Vichy will also offer 60 spots for the 2020 event in addition to the qualifying slots for the 2021 race. The Ironman site doesn’t specify how many 2021 slots the Ironman Vichy race will have. Ironman Kazakhstan is supposed to have 30 slots for Kona in 2021.

Ironman has also allocated additional slots for the Legacy Program (athletes who have done 12 Ironman races but who have not raced in Kona) – “every eligible waitlisted Legacy athlete” will be allowed to race this year.

Here’s the full text of Ironman’s announcement:

TAMPA, Fla. (April 9, 2020) – IRONMAN today announced adjustments to the slot allocations for the 2020 Vega IRONMAN® World Championship based on qualifying events that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRONMAN World Championship qualifying window for the 2020 Vega IRONMAN World Championship has been officially extended from August 23, 2020 to August 30, 2020.
 
With this change, the 2020 editions of IRONMAN Canada – Penticton (August 30), IRONMAN Kazakhstan (August 23) and IRONMAN Vichy (August 23), will now offer 60 qualification slots each to the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship in addition to the qualification slots they offer for the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship.
 
IRONMAN races that have been postponed from an earlier date in the 2020 season and are rescheduled to take place on or before August 30, 2020 will remain in the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship qualifying season. Events that have been postponed to take place after August 30, 2020 will move to the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship qualifying season.
 
Additionally, the Legacy Program has been allocated additional slots for 2020, providing every eligible waitlisted Legacy athlete the ability to race in the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship.
 
The 2020 Vega IRONMAN World Championship is scheduled to take place in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i on Saturday, October 10, 2020.
 
As further changes are made to the slot allocation of events, they will be updated on the individual IRONMAN event pages on www.ironman.com, with the most up-to-date information on overall qualification details being found at www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.