To celebrate the start of the World Series (WTS), Trimes will publish an article per day.
Since 2009, the year of introduction, WTS has ensured the participation of the best athletes in all its races. Faced with these new requirements, athletes like Javier Gomez or Andrea Hewitt have been persistant all these years. For women, such as Emma Snowsill, Paula Findlay have not been able to have success for longer than a period of 2 seasons. Gwen Jorgensen will have a shot this year to break this rule. The headliners of the circuit are well known.
World Series has many interests.
The final classification to the circuit.
The world champion title is synonymous of major advertising opportunities. Additional earnings are related to the final ranking ($ 80,000 for the winner). Some national federations have also included the general classification in their criteria (top 5 or top 10 for the FFTRI).
Unfortunately, in our estimation only twenty athletes will actually play the card for the world rankings. The reason is simple, you must be efficient for 9 months and do almost all races. When an athlete has not established an athletic status, the physical and budget requirements are generally too demanding.
The result in the Grand Final.
This race often corresponds to the criteria for the national federations, it conditions the future funding / support of the athletes.
Keep a bid on the circuit for its selection and Olympic bib?
Things are somewhat complex for the Olympics. An athlete must obtain a bid for his federation on the winning some races or Olympic Ranking (different from the WTS). Although the Olympic bid is attributed to the performance of an athlete, the federations have the right to assign the athlete of their choice. To make their selections, the national federations (NF) generally require athletes to make a top 8 in Rio (test event) or the grand finale of Chicago. The NFs base these principles since these two races will be highly competitive.
As you imagine, for the majority of athletes on the circuit, their priority is to qualify for the Olympics.
The road for Rio is very long. First, they needs to keep their bid in WTS and have the points to get a start for the Rio test event as well as the Grand Final in Chicago since these two races will achieve their selection for Rio.
Faced with this reality, we already know that the majority of the elite will miss several races, especially if they want to show their best for the two races of the year offering an automatic selection for Rio.
We should expect to see Europeans refusing to race in a different time zone. That means, they won’t make the trip to Oceania and Asia (Gold Coast, Auckland, Yokohama). Conversely, others athletes are already based in Australia and won’t do the trip to Abu Dhabi and Cape Town.
Although the favorites to win the world title will be present at all races with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions (as exemple, the Brownlee will not do the trip to Yokohama), the scenario will be very different for the new generation. Opportunities are here.
The absence of some athletes will have the advantage of offering a more open circuit where the next generation will have a chance to prove themselves. Alex Hinton, Amelie Kretz of Canada or Etienne Diemunsch and Simon Viain of France will finally get their deserved WTS start.
Is the WTS more accessible than before? Thank you Sprint?
Unlike its creation, the World Series that was exclusively in Olympic distance will provide half of its schedule sprint distance.When the distance is shorter, it often allows athletes to have some gaps to cope better. The strong swimmers are usually able to limit the damage by running. The placement on the pontoon is also essential for that distance. An athlete like Mario Mola is able to hold on for 750m. Something he has yet to demonstrate at an Olympic distance.
For a junior, to step up in elite, it was a double challenge with the distance and the competitiveness of the field. The transition is now softer.
This allows federations to be more opportunistic in their choices. France, Australia and Germany in WTS align its junior medalists like Raphael Montoya, Jake Birtwhistle (Auckland), Linda Lindemann, Audrey Merle.
Obviously, to illustrate this point, we think primarily of Cassandre Beaugrand. She is still Junior for the next 2 seasons, She would never have got the green light from his federation to compete in Olympic distance. This experience will prepare undoubtedly her future. Australia has also the opportunity to go in this direction with their junior talents as Quirck and Hauser.
We are facing a new generation that was inspired by Brownlee or Stanford. There is no longer this belief that we must wait for his time in U23 to go play with the big. Dorian Coninx, Simon Viain (Auckland), Sophia Saller (ALL), Amelie Kretz, Ellen Pennock( CAN) .
In this game, there are several races in one. Even if victory is the visible part, the interests are also in the secondary places. Athletes need to consolidate status for the next step. The hierarchy in their federation is sometimes more important than their results.
Unfortunately, it usually has an effect on the athletes since they must act to ensure an outcome allowing them to stay on the circuit.