World Triathlon has announced that Edmonton, which was supposed to host the Grand Final this year, will host part of a “split” world championships next year. Edmonton will host the Elite, U23 and age group standard distance races and also the age group super-sprint events in August. Bermuda, which was originally to host the 2021 Grand Final, will now host the first Sprint and Relay World Championships in October. That event will feature elite super sprint and mixed relay world championships, along with the world sprint and mixed relay events for age groupers.
Montreal and Bermuda cancelled, Hamburg now hosts worlds
“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,” according to a release from World Triathlon today.
That means that Hamburg will be the only remaining WTS event of the 2020 season.
“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,” today’s release continued. “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.”
As we reported last week, Canadians will not be able to attend the event. In a statement, Triathlon Canada’s Chief Executive Officer Kim Van Bruggen said: “There is no feasible solution to racing ITU events at this time without significant risks, thus Triathlon Canada cannot endorse or support any event on the current ITU calendar for Canadian athletes to target.”
“Triathlon Canada has been consistent with its support of the federal travel advisories, the COC/CPC’s position on the postponed Games and the continued risk mitigations that Canadian citizens are upholding,” Eugene Liang, Triathlon Canada’s High Performance director confirmed in an email last week when we first reported on the Hamburg situation. “Additionally, we have continued to work with ITU to inform them that Triathlon Canada has yet to have confirmation of travel medical insurance that will cover any COVID related issues during a federal travel advisory. As the ITU rules require the NSO to verify insurance for all athletes we put on the start lists, Triathlon Canada is unable to place athletes on the start list until we can confirm an insurer will cover COVID related issues during the travel advisory.”
2021 Age group qualification
Canadians who had qualified for this year’s world championships in Edmonton and Almere “will maintain their position on Age Group Team Canada should they wish to compete in 2021,” according to Van Bruggen’s statement.
“Due to the postponement of the World Championship events, much of the limited space on the Team is already filled for 2021,” Van Bruggen continued. “It is also impossible to provide fair access to qualification events across the country as different regions are affected at vastly different levels. As a result, we are unfortunately unable to offer 2021 qualification spots as part of the 2020 event season. We are hopeful the 48 [qualifying] events from 2020 will continue to be a part of the program in 2021 to qualify for the 2022 World Championship events.”