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First Pro Kona Slots To Be Handed Out This Week

Find out which professional triathletes have secured their spots on the start line of the 2014 Ironman World Championship, set for Oct. 11.

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With the 2014 Ironman World Championship 75 days away, the first professional spots for the men and women will be handed out this week.

The Kona Pro Rankings (KPR) system was put into place in the fall of 2010 and requires professionals to be ranked against each other based on their finishes at 70.3 and Ironman events around the world. The top ranked 50 men and 35 women in the standings earn starts at the iconic race. A handful of athletes are considered automatic qualifiers and don’t count in the overall rankings. Athletes who have won the Ironman World Championship in the last five years, or who have won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship in 2013 automatically earn spots in Kona. All athletes, including automatic qualifiers, must validate their start in Kona with a finish at a full Ironman event.

This week marks the end of the first qualifying period, and 40 men and 28 women, plus the automatic qualifiers, will be offered the opportunity to register given that they have validated. If a person has not validated or chooses not to accept his/her slot, it will roll down to the next eligible athlete. The remaining 17 spots (10 men and seven women) will be handed out at the end of August.

Automatic Qualifiers

Frederik Van Lierde (BEL), Pete Jacobs (AUS) and Craig Alexander (AUS) have each won the Ironman World Championship in the last five years and have all validated with an Ironman finish. Though Alexander had previously said he will not return to compete in Kona, he will be offered a slot and told Firstoffthebike.com he will make a final decision by the end of August. Chris McCormack (AUS) is also eligible for a spot based on his 2012 Ironman world championship win, but he has not validated and has not said he intends to compete this year. Sebastian Kienle (GER) also earns a spot based on his 70.3 World Championship win and his validation. Javier Gomez (ESP) won Hy-Vee, but did not validate and has not expressed any intention of racing in Kona this year.

For the women, Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) is an automatic qualifier and has validated. Chrissie Wellington (GBR) and Leanda Cave (GBR) are both automatic qualifiers based on Kona wins. Wellington has retired from the sport, but Cave has Kona on her racing schedule so don’t be surprised if she pops up on the start list for an August Ironman. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) has a spot locked up thanks to her win at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Like Gomez, Hy-Vee winner Emma Moffatt (AUS) has been busy on the ITU circuit and it does not appear she will validate her Kona slot.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2013 Ironman World Championship – Men’s Race

The Men

The only male in the top 43 (Van Lierde, Alexander and Kienle don’t count as part of the top 40 in terms of qualification) who has not validated is Challenge Roth winner Timo Bracht (GER). Bracht said that Roth would be his Kona for the year. He does have Ironman Copenhagen on his race schedule, which would get him in to Kona as part of the August group. It’s also worth noting that Cameron Brown (NZL) told Triathlete.com that he’s not planning to compete in Kona this year, which means a spot could roll down to Jordan Rapp (USA).

Noticeably absent from qualifier list are brothers Andreas Raelert (currently ranked 156th) and Michael Raelert (currently not ranked at all). It was only three years ago that K-Swiss offered a $1 million bonus to the two if they could finish first and second in Kona, and now it appears neither will be on the 2014 start line.

1. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 14,770**
2. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 11,640**
3. Tyler Butterfield (BER) 8,420
4. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 8,077
5. Ivan Raña (ESP) 7,855
6. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 7,580
7. James Cunnama (RSA) 7,405
8. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 7,015
9. Jan Frodeno (GER) 6,640
10. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 6,565
11. Victor Morales (ESP) 6,500
12. Andy Potts (USA) 5,610
13. Michael Weiss (AUT) 5,495
14. Joe Gambles (AUS) 5,380
15. Igor Amorelli (BRA) 5,200
16. David Plese (SVN) 4,925
17. Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 4,920
18. Eneko Llanos (ESP) 4,905
19. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 4,825
20. Maik Twelsiek (GER) 4,755
21. Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 4,660
22. Paul Matthews (AUS) 4,510
23. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 4,450
24. Marek Jaskolka (POL) 4,345
25. Christian Kramer (GER) 4,325
26. Jeremy Juriewicz (FRA) 4,280
27. David Dellow (AUS) 4,250
28. Cyril Viennot (FRA) 4,240
29. Cameron Brown (NZL) 4,225
30. Filip Ospaly (CZE) 4,130
31. Timo Bracht (GER) 4,130*
32. Ben Hoffman (USA) 4,095
33. Nils Frommhold (GER) 4,060
34. Kyle Buckingham (RSA) 4,024
35. Dirk bockel (LUX) 4,000
36. Romain Buillaume (FRA) 3,980
37. Marko Albert (EST) 3,935
38. Craig Alexander (AUS) 3,890**
39. Matthew Russell (USA) 3,790
40. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 3,675
41. Daniel Fontana (ITA) 3,645
42. Tim Reed (AUS) 3,625
43. Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 3,515
44. Boris Stein (GER) 3,500

AQ Pete Jacobs
*********July Qualifying Cutoff*********
45. Jordan Rapp (USA) 3,420
46. Elliot Holtham (CAN) 3,405
47. Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) 3,335
48. Paul Ambrose (GBR) 3,335
49. Markus Thomschke (GER) 3,280
50. Kirill Kotsegarov (EST) 3,220
51. Peter Vabrousek (CZE) 3,190
52. Miquel Tinto (ESP) 3,040
53. Chris McDonald (AUS) 3,023
54. Peter Robertson (AUS) 2,960
55. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 2,925

See the complete rankings.

** Automatic Qualifier, does not count in ranking
* Did not validate with a full Ironman finish

RELATED PHOTOS: Kona’s Leading Men

The Women

The only female in the top 30 (Carfrae and Hauschildt don’t count as part of the top 28 in terms of qualification) who has not validated is 70.3 star Annabel Luxford (AUS). This means Katja Konschak (GER) will be offered the final spot for July. Narrowly missing the cut are Angela Naeth (CAN), Daniela Ryf (SUI), Lisa Huetthaler (AUT) and Amy Marsh (USA).

1. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 10,240
2. Meredith Kessler (USA) 10,100
3. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 9,688**
4. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9,325
5. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9,250
6. Liz Blatchford (AUS) 9,200
7. Yvone Van Vlerken (NED) 8,595
8. Caitlin Snow (USA) 8,005
9. Elizabeth Lyles (USA) 8,005
10. Linsey Corbin (USA) 7,755
11. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 7,250**
12. Catriona Morrison (GBR) 6,240
13. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 6,210
14. Asa Lundström (SWE) 6,090
15. Kristin Möller (GER) 5,750
16. Lucy Gossage (GBR) 5,600
17. Michelle Vesterby (DEN) 5,525
18. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 5,390
19. Natascha Badmann (SUI) 5,355
20. Julie GAjer (GER) 5,310
21. Lisa Roberts (USA) 5,285
22. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 5,280
23. Simone Brändli (SUI) 5,240
24. Amanda Stevens (USA) 5,175
25. Kimberly Schwabenbauer (USA) 5,050
26. Bree Wee (USA) 5,040
27. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 5,000
28. Jessie Donavan (USA) 5,000
29. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4,980*
30. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4,975
31. Katja Konschak (GER) 4,915
*********July Qualifying Cutoff*********
32. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4,890
33. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4,810
34. Lisa Huetthaler (AUT) 4,665
35. Amy Marsh (USA) 4,640

See the complete rankings.

** Automatic Qualifier, does not count in ranking
* Did not validate with a full Ironman finish

RELATED PHOTOS: 2013 Ironman World Championship – Women’s Race