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Olympic Qualification Period Concludes
VANCOUVER, Canada (June 10, 2008) - The International Triathlon Union has issued the preliminary number of Olympic triathlon spots each country has earned with the conclusion of the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships this past weekend, the final event in ITU's two-year Olympic qualifying period. Only eight countries may send the maximum three men and three women to the Beijing Olympic Games.
The Olympic fields are capped at 55 men and 55 women. In all, 37 different countries will be represented at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games triathlon. An increase on the 32 countries represented in Athens in 2004.
The top countries in the women's Olympic rankings that will send the maximum of three women to Beijing are:
1 - United States
2 - New Zealand
3 - Germany
4 - Australia
5 - Japan
6 - Switzerland
7 - Canada
8 - Austria
With Sarah Haskins' silver medal at world championships, the United States leapt to the top of the standings. Kate Allen's eighth place finish at the world championships, coupled with a poor performance by France's Marion Lorblanchet and the absence of Britain's Michelle Dillon, pulled Austria ahead of France and Great Britain for the final place.
The top countries in the men's Olympic rankings that will send the maximum of three men to Beijing are:
1 - New Zealand
2 - Germany
3 - Great Britain
4 - France
5 - United States
6 - Switzerland
7 - Russia
8 - Canada
Going into the men's world championship race on Sunday, four countries were in a fierce battle for the final three spots. However, Australia struggled in Vancouver and for the first time will not send a full men's team to the Olympics. In contrast, for the first time Canada and Russia will be able to send three men to Beijing.
National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have until July 6 to inform ITU of use of qualification places. Many National Federations have already nominated athletes however, all Olympic teams will be official on July 6. A continually updated list of nominated athletes is available at ITU's Olympic site.