At the end of 2017, Ironman announced a new system for pros to qualify for the Ironman World Championships. While there are there several implications for how pros plan their seasons (more on that here), the main takeaway is that athletes now earn Kona slots based on their performance in an individual Ironman event, instead of accumulating points over the course of the season.
Last weekend’s Ironman New Zealand featured two Kona slots up for grabs. At the award ceremony, winner Jocelyn McCauley (USA) accepted her slot, but no one could have predicted what happened next: The crowd—and announcer Mike Reilly—were shocked when second-place finisher, Teresa Adam (NZL) declined her Kona slot.
Check out the video above to see a stunned third-place finisher Meredith Kessler (USA) literally grab Reilly’s microphone, confirm with Adam, and tearfully accept the roll down slot. Definitely worth a watch!
For more insight on why Teresa Adam might not want to return to the Big Island in October, check out our interview with the young Kiwi at last year’s IMWC, where she eventually finished 18th.