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Aquathlon World's: time for a rethink?
Posted by: JohnLevison
Posted on: Tuesday 16th October 2012


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Four years ago I wrote an article called Aqua-gone?

The context of that article was the hosting of the ITU Aquathlon World Championships outside of the ITU World Championships / ITU Grand Finals in 2007 and 2008. My view then was "put it back where it belongs or bin it."

The 2012 Aquathlon World's takes place tomorrow in Auckland - ahead of this weekend's Grand Final - but, I think it highlights that some questions about the validity of this event, for the Elite, need to be asked.

Why? Well, here are some statistics based on the official start lists:

  • Junior Women - 1 entry (8 in 2011)
  • Junior Men - 4 entries (6 in 2011)
  • U23 Women - no entries (4 in 2011)
  • U23 Men - 3 entries (2 in 2011)
  • Elite Women - 4 entries (2 in 2011)
  • Elite Men - 4 entries (4 in 2011)

Thus, in total, across three elite categories - male and female - a total of 16 entries. That's less in total than in the men's 65-69 Age Group. Is that really worthy of a 'World Championship'?

I'll repeat here what I said four years ago - I really like Aquathlons. They are a great way to experience multisport, a great way to spot talent, great fun to race and relatively easy and cheap to organise... but I have to ask, do we need an Elite Aquathlon World Championship if - it appears - (almost) nobody wants to enter it?

The Aquathlon World Championship is a great Age Group event and a natural fit with the Age Group Triathlon World Championships. Is it time to make it an Age Group only event? How about making it an 'Open' race, removing the Age Group / Elite segregation - first across the line wins?


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