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2013 Qualification Information

*Please note that the 2013 Qualification Standards have been modified from previous years.

Any athlete who wants to compete at the Olympic Distance National Championship must qualify in their respective age group at a USAT-sanctioned event of a qualifying distance. This event is the only USAT National Championship for which athletes have to meet a strict qualification.

Qualifying distances include: On or off-road Intermediate/Olympic, Sprint, Long (half-iron) and Ultra (full iron) Distance Triathlon. You may qualify in any of these specified distances as long as the race is USAT sanctioned. However, each athlete will qualify to compete in the Olympic Distance National Championship. Qualification can no longer be met in the Duathlon, Aquathlon, or Aquabike categories.

Qualification must be met in the age group category of a race (not in an open, Athena, Clydesdale, etc. category). Qualification is based on the finish in the athlete's age group, not how the athlete is awarded. For example, if an athlete is pulled out of their age group and awarded in the masters or grand masters category, compare the finishing time to the athlete's actual age group to determine qualification.

Athletes can meet qualification at any USAT sanctioned event beginning on July 18, 2012 and ending eight (8) days prior to the 2013 Olympic Distance National Championship event date (August 10, 2013). All athletes must be at least 17 years old by December 31, 2013.

How to Qualify:

  • Special Qualifying and Regional Championship races will qualify the top 33 percent or top five finishers (whichever is greater) in each age group. 2013 Regional Championships and Special Qualifiers have been announced and can be found by CLICKING HERE.

** Note: If there are 35 athletes in an age group and an athlete places 12th or higher, they have qualified for the 2013 Olympic Distance Nationals. If an athlete places 13th out of 35 they have not qualified.

  • A non-championship USAT sanctioned event in one of the specified qualifying distances (as explained above) will qualify the top 10 percent or top finisher (whichever is greater) in each age group.

** Note: If there are 25 athletes in an age group and an athlete places 3rd or higher, they have qualified for the 2013 Olympic Distance Nationals. If an athlete places 4th out of 25 they have not qualified.

  • The top 33% or top five (whichever is greater) athletes in each age group at the USAT Olympic Distance, Sprint and Long Course Triathlon National Championships in the current and/or previous year automatically qualify.
  • The top 10 finishers in each age group from the 2012 USAT Olympic Distance National Championship automatically qualify.
  • Any athlete who has competed as a member of 2012 Team USA in Sprint, Intermediate or Long Course Triathlon will automatically qualify. Qualification can no longer be met for any other Team USA participation or from participation more than one year prior.
  • All-American and honorable mention All-Americans from the 2012 USAT National Rankings automatically qualify.

Athena and Clydesdale
There are no qualification standards for the Athena and Clydesdale division at the Olympic Distance National Championship in Milwaukee, WI. It is an open division in which athletes may register without prior qualification. Click here to register.

Since ITU does not support a division for Athenas and Clydesdales at its Sprint and Olympic Distance World Championships, if the athlete’s intent is to qualify for either of these two events, they will need to compete in the wave corresponding with their age group AND forfeit the opportunity to race as a Clydesdale/Athena. An athlete CAN NOT register for the event as a Clydesdale/Athena athlete and then switch over to their respective age group.   

What do I do once I Have Qualified?
Once athletes have officially qualified, they will receive an email from USA Triathlon indicating their official qualification. Since USA Triathlon is still finalizing all the details for the 2013 Olympic Distance National Championship athletes will start to receive an automatic email in the late fall of 2012. The registration system will recognize qualified athletes once results are uploaded to the registration system. If an athlete has questions regarding qualification for the event, please contact



Team USA Qualifications
2014 World Championship Qualifications: The 2013 Olympic Distance National Championship will qualify athletes for the 2014 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Short Course (Olympic) Triathlon World Championship. This race is still to be decided by ITU. There will be 18 slots on Team USA available per age group, with slots rolling down to 25th place after the age-up rule.

Team USA Age-Up Rule
At 2013Nationals, athletes will race in their appropriate age groups based on their age as of December 31, 2013. Awards will be issued based on those results. If an athlete "ages up" into another age group in 2014, a separate set of results will be issued accounting for those athletes who aged up and Team USA slots will be awarded based on these results. So their finish time will be compared to those athletes in the older age group. For example, if John Doe is going to be 49 years old by December 31, 2013, he will age-up up into the 50-54 age group for the 2014 World Championships since he will be 50 years old by December 31, 2014. Thus, for Team USA qualifying purposes, his time at the qualification event will be compared to the men currently in the 50-54 age group. We will post the age-up results at the awards ceremony.


Who can qualify for Team USA?

All athletes eligible to represent the United States must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen  OR
  • Be a U.S. national – someone who has resided in the US for three consecutive years and has not competed for their country of citizenship in the prior year.

Team USA eligible athletes must not have competed for their country of citizenship in the prior year. Athletes who choose to be recognized as nationals who have competed for their country of citizenship in the last year may get dispensation by obtaining a letter from the National Federation of their home country allowing competition as a USA athlete.

For more information, please contact the National Events Department.


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