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USA Triathlon Announces Selection Procedures For 2012 Olympic Games

The highly-anticipated announcement of the selection process for the triathlon team for the 2012 London Olympics took place today.

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The highly-anticipated announcement of the selection process for the triathlon team for the 2012 London Olympics took place today.

The 2008 team included Jarrod Shoemaker, Laura Bennett, Julie Ertel, Hunter Kemper, Matt Reed and Sarah Haskins (not pictured).
The 2008 team included Jarrod Shoemaker, Laura Bennett, Julie Ertel, Hunter Kemper, Matt Reed and Sarah Haskins (not pictured).

The ITU World Championship series race on the Olympic course in London on August 6-7, 2011 will be the first chance to qualify. The top two male and female American finishers will automatically receive spots on the team. The catch is that both athletes must also finish in the top-nine overall.

If there are spots remaining, the next spots will go to the top male and female of a yet-to-be determined ITU race in early 2012 (also given that he/she finishes within the overall top-nine). If the U.S. has earned spots beyond those handed out in those two events, a selection committee will determine the final Olympians.

One interesting caveat included by USA Triathlon is the following statement in the rules: “If necessary, discretionary selections could entail potential medalists or an athlete who can assist the medal-potential athletes through specific team tactics.”

Another major difference is there will be no formal U.S. Olympic Trials race. All athletes will have to qualify at an ITU World Championship or Cup race, or must be selected by a committee.

Click “next page” below to see the press release from USA Triathlon.

See the complete press release from USA Triathlon below:

USA Triathlon has finalized its selection procedures for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team, which will compete in the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London from July 27-Aug. 12, 2012, pending final approval by the USOC Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, USAT has set its selection procedures for the 2011 Pan American Games set for October 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The selection events for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be the International Triathlon Union (ITU) London World Championship Series event on Aug. 6-7, 2011, and a to-be-determined ITU World Cup or World Championship Series event between March 1-May 31, 2012. Any remaining spots following these two events will be filled at the discretion of the USAT Elite Athlete Selection Committee.

The maximum size of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team is six: three athletes per gender.

“The goal of USA Triathlon is to field teams in both the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2011 Pan American Games that will compete for the podium,” said USA Triathlon CEO Skip Gilbert. “These selection procedures will assure that the athletes representing the U.S. at these two prestigious events already have proven themselves against the rest of the world’s top triathletes.”

The 2011 ITU London WCS event will be held on the 2012 Olympic course and will be the first opportunity for U.S. athletes to qualify for the Games. At this event, the two highest-placing eligible American athletes per gender will automatically qualify for the Olympic team provided they place among the event’s top nine finishers.

If any slots remain after the London selection event, any eligible American athlete who did not qualify in London and places in the top nine at the to-be-determined second selection event will automatically qualify for the Olympic team. Selection event No. 2 will be named within one week of the release of the 2012 ITU schedule.

If necessary, discretionary selections could entail potential medalists or an athlete who can assist the medal-potential athletes through specific team tactics.

The 2011 ITU Hamburg (Germany) World Championship Series event, scheduled for July 2011, will serve as the sole qualifying race for the 2011 Pan American Games. While Guadalajara, Mexico, is the host city of the 2011 Pan Am Games, the triathlon competition will be held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The maximum size of the 2011 U.S. Pan Am Games Triathlon Team is six: three athletes per gender.

The highest-placing eligible American athlete per gender at the Hamburg selection event automatically will qualify for the team provided he/she places among the race’s top 15 finishers. The second highest-placing eligible U.S. athlete also will qualify for the team if the top two Americans place in the race’s top 10 finishers.

If there are spots remaining following the selection event, the highest-ranked American athlete on the ITU Olympic Qualification List who has not already qualified for the Pan Am Games team will earn a spot provided he/she is ranked in the top 50 of the list. Any remaining spots would be filled by discretionary selection.

As in the Olympic selection procedures, discretionary selections for the Pan Am Games could entail potential medalists or an athlete who can assist the medal-potential athletes through specific team tactics.