Pro athletes aiming to qualify for the 2019 Ironman World Championships and Ironman 70.3 World Championships will no longer have to accumulate points and instead earn places through a slot system.
The change aligns with the global age-group system with qualifying slots being allocated to Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events on the global pro calendar for the respective world championship races.
The guaranteed base slot allocations will be equal for both male and female professional athletes, with additional slots being allocated and distributed to events based on the number of professional starters. The Regional Championship events will be assigned the greatest number of qualifying slots of any event on the pro circuit. Each qualifying Ironman or Ironman 70.3 event will have at a minimum one men’s and one women’s professional slot.
For the global 2019 Ironman professional calendar, the number of World Championship slots is expected to be approximately 100, similar to the current total allocation. Based upon the global 2019 70.3 professional calendar, the current two-day format of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship could allow for up to 170 professional athletes split between the days.
World Championship podium finishers and a reciprocal exemption invitation to the 70.3 World Champion. All exemptions remain subject to completion of a validation race and remain additional to the guaranteed allocations to qualifying events.
“Finishing a top of the podium at an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 event is a great accomplishment and the reward for that should be a place at the starting line at the World Championship events,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman. “The return to the slot system celebrates our champions and Ironman host communities around the world and changes the focus squarely back to recognising great performances on race day. If you win you are in, and and athletes will no longer need to calculate how to plan their race schedule to qualify.”
Qualifying for the 2019 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i will begin on September 9, 2018 with slots being awarded at IM Wisconsin and IM Wales.
Qualifying for the 2019 IM 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France will begin on July 8, 2018 with slots being awarded at 70.3 Jönköping and 70.3 Ecuador.
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