Thinking of Joining USA Triathlon?

Be a part of our 550,000 member community of multisport athletes. Membership benefits include a subscription to the quarterly USA Triathlon magazine, discounts from USA Triathlon partners, inclusion in the national rankings, excess accident insurance at events, and savings at races. To see why you should join or renew today, visit the membership benefits page. Already a member? Login below.

Forgot Your Password? | Login Help

Recent Tweets

See All Tweets...

Featured Poll

How many World Triathlon Series races will Gwen Jorgensen win in her career?

Hy-Vee Triathlon and ITU Des Moines World Cup will include a swim leg
Hy-Vee Triathlon and ITU Des Moines World Cup will include a swim leg

Des Moines World Cup to Include Swim

Rate

(0 votes)

The Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup scheduled for this weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, is back to its original format of a full swim-bike-run triathlon, race organizers announced this afternoon.

The decision means that the elite race will remain the final qualifying event for the third and final spots on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. The final male and female team members will be determined after the race based on a points system that calculates the best two finishes of each of the remaining competitors over the three-race series.

The full six-person Olympic Team (and two alternates) will be announced following the race.

(See below to read what this means for the final spots up for grabs.)

"I can't say enough about the support that Hy-Vee has been giving USAT and the sport of triathlon and the work that Bill Burke and his crew at Premier Event Management has done to stage our selection event, and all the other events, in the face of this historic natural disaster," said USAT Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn.

Recent flooding in Iowa had forced race organizers to move the weekend's events out of downtown Des Moines to Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines. They also initially cancelled the swim for the age group, youth elite and junior elite races and were monitoring the water for the elite race. However, by Wednesday the flood waters and water bacteria levels had dropped to levels acceptable for a safe swim for all the events.

"Safety of the athletes has always been our number one priority. Every day that the lake levels dropped and the sun stayed out, we were more optimistic," said Randy Edeker, co-chair of the Hy-Vee Triathlon. "It has always been our deep desire to deliver a swim to both elite and age-group athletes. We were told to hope for a miracle, and it looks like we got one."

The race will remain in West Des Moines with the swim taking place in Blue Heron Lake in West Des Moines' Raccoon River Park.

New course maps are being drawn up reflecting the swim routes and bike transition area. Those maps will be distributed to the media and posted on http://www.hy-veetriathlon.com/ as soon as they are finalized.

All races will now take place under the regular weather guidelines as established by USAT.

Alternate Selection Procedures Still in Place

Officials from USA Triathlon and the United States Olympic Committee had been discussing amendments to the Athlete Selection Procedures for the Olympic Team over the past week and have a plan in place (pending approval by the USOC Board of Directors) if the weather conditions change before Sunday's race.

If the elite race cannot be held or is changed to a duathlon (run-bike-run) format, the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday, July 12 will serve as the final event in the three-race selection process.

Read the full Selection Procedures.

USAT officials had discussed several options for selecting the final Olympic team members - including using Olympic points rankings - but decided that keeping it in the hands of the athletes in the field of competition was the best option. Though other races were considered, the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon was chosen due to its popularity among the triathlon community and its historically strong elite field of both U.S. and international athletes. 

"The commitment by the Lifetime Fitness organization to be the backup plan for the athletes and our Olympic team selection if we can't hold a triathlon in Des Moines is amazing. We are lucky to have such great sponsors in our sport," said Schnitzspahn.

Who Will Be Third Man and Woman on Olympic Triathlon Team

Aside from the issue of where the race will take place, round three of qualification for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for triathlon isn't as cut and dried as the first two installments.

By finishing as the top Americans at the Beijing World Cup last September, Laura Bennett and Jarrod Shoemaker punched their tickets to this August's Olympic Games. Julie Swail Ertel and Matt Reed then secured their spots as the top Americans at April's U.S. Olympic Trials in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (though Reed's spot wasn't actually "secured" until the U.S. men won their third spot at the recent World Championships.)

Now, here comes the math. Following the final qualifying event - either Sunday's ITU Des Moines World Cup or the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon on July 13 - the best two of three finishes of the remaining Olympic hopefuls will be tallied to see who gets that coveted final slot for the men and the women.

Regardless of where that final event takes place, we know for certain that the women's battle is down to two athletes: Sarah Haskins Kortuem and Sarah Groff. For the men, it's a fight between four: Andy Potts, Hunter Kemper, Doug Friman and Brian Fleischmann.

Here is a look at the points standings and the qualification scenarios for the athletes who remain in the running for the final team slots.

What Do the Athletes Have to Do?

With Sarah Haskins having the advantage with two second-place finishes at the previous selection events, Sarah Groff must finish as the top American in order to claim the final women's spot. If she does not finish as top American, the final slot goes to Haskins.

For the men, it works down to this: if neither Brian Fleischmann nor Doug Friman finish as the top American, the race comes down to a head-to-head competition between Hunter Kemper and Andy Potts, who each have second- and third-place finishes at the previous two events. Whoever finishes higher gets the third slot.

Here's further explanation on the possible scenarios that would get each athlete that final spot:

Andy Potts

Scenario 1: Finish as the top American

Scenario 2: Finish as the second American, as long as Kemper doesn't finish as top American

Scenario 3: Finish third or worse, but ahead of Kemper, as long as neither Fleischmann nor Friman finishes as top American.

Hunter Kemper

Scenario 1: Finish as the top American

Scenario 2: Finish as the second American, as long as Potts doesn't finish as top American

Scenario 3: Finish third or worse, but ahead of Potts, as long as neither Fleischmann nor Friman finishes as top American.

Doug Friman

Finish as the first American, as long as neither Kemper nor Potts finishes second.

Brian Fleischmann

Finish as the first American, as long as neither Kemper nor Potts finishes second.

 

Related Topics

World Cup, USOC, Elites, Elite Series, ITU

Comments

Active.com