The PTO 2020 Championship brings together the greatest triathletes in the world to compete for a $1,000,000 prize purse. The top 40 men and women in PTO World Rankings are automatic qualifiers. In addition, the non-athlete members of the PTO Board will select an additional ten men and ten women athletes for wildcard spots.
The purpose for wildcard selections is to invite those athletes who have not otherwise automatically qualified for the event, but who are of a calibre to be competitive with those who have qualified and would add to the prestige and competitiveness of the event.
Broadly speaking, there are three main categories of athletes who are considered for a wildcard selection:
1) Athletes whose rankings, because of injury, maternity or other reasons, do not accurately reflect the quality of their historical performances and who have demonstrated that they are capable of being in-form for the event;
2) Up and coming athletes who have shown the ability to be competitive with the qualifying field, but have not yet had the opportunity to establish a sufficiently high ranking to be an automatic qualifier and;
3) Short course athletes who have a sufficiently high ITU ranking so as to expect that they would be competitive in the event.
When selecting which athletes will be awarded wildcard positions, the non-athlete members of the PTO Board will analyse which athletes are likely to be competitive with the automatic qualifiers and in addition will consider the following criteria:
1. Professional Commitment:
Given the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic it will not a requirement for an athlete to be a PTO Member to be selected for a wildcard spot for the PTO 2020 Championship. However, the non-athlete members of the PTO Board will assess whether an athlete’s level of commitment, professionalism and attitude is consistent with the PTO’s mission of being a united voice for professionals and a valued member of the greater triathlon community.
While the PTO World Rankings have been fixed since the beginning of the year because of the disruption to races, they will serve as an historical reference of an athlete’s potential to be competitive at the PTO 2020 Championship, and will be given weight in assessing an athlete’s suitability for a wildcard slot. This is also true for short course athletes and the non-athlete members of the PTO Board will look at the recent ITU world rankings in determining a possible wildcard selection for a traditional short course athlete.
3. Recent Results:
While there have not been many races this year, the quality of recent results at the ones that have occurred will be a factor in determining wildcard slots.
4. Development Opportunities:
Consideration will be given as to whether an athlete will gain a particular benefit from participating in the PTO 2020 Championship. This will normally be based on potential assessments of younger up-and-coming athletes whose development would be enhanced by partaking in a championship race.
5. Other Factors:
The non-athlete members of the PTO Board will consider additional factors, such as past conduct or doping violations, respect for professionals, governing bodies and age-groupers, the degree by which the event would be enhanced by the presence of an athlete, and an athlete’s commitment to participate in the promotion of the event.
While consideration will be given to recommendations and opinions of athletes, coaches and governing bodies, all wildcard selections are in the sole discretion of the non-athlete members of the PTO Board. A wildcard slot is a privilege not a right. All decisions by the non-athlete members of the PTO Board are final.Next article