Team World Triathlon athletes qualify for the Paris Olympic Games

by Ben Eastman on 29 May, 2024 08:14 • Español
Team World Triathlon athletes qualify for the Paris Olympic Games

With the end of the Olympic qualifying window, Team World Triathlon can report the successful qualification of several of its members. Throughout the Team, medals have been won at every international level but, with the Paris Olympic Games now only two months away, the current project is drawing to a close. Those that have succeeded in their qualification ambitions will now be able to focus on Paris. Those that have not have nonetheless shown plenty of promise throughout the qualification window and many will be able to push towards future Games appearances.

The qualified athletes

Jawad Abdelmoula (MAR) has been one of the stars of the Team. The bronze medallist at WTCS Hamburg in 2022 has won multiple World Cup medals and became the African champion in 2023. He ends the qualifying window in 40th place in the Olympic rankings and has cemented himself as a consistent presence in the WTCS.

Another Team member to have become a regular in the WTCS is Diego Moya (CHI). The only returning Olympian in the Team, having raced in Tokyo, Moya has twice won World Cup medals on his path to Olympic qualification - in Vina del Mar in 2022 and in Wollongong this year – and has established a reputation for being one of the leading swimmers at the top level. Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto (COL) coincidentally matched the timing of Moya’s medals with podium finishes of her own in Vina del Mar in 2022 and in Wollongong. Velasquez also made an immensely impressive WTCS debut in 2023, finishing 10th in Montreal. Moya and Velasquez took 43rd and 50th, respectively, in the Olympic rankings.


Three athletes from the Team also triumphed in various New Flag races. Among this group was Matthew Wright (BAR) who was victorious at the Americas Championships over the sprint distance in 2023. In addition to success at Continental Cup races, Wright made a long-awaited return to the WTCS in Cagliari after a near-six year absence. Once he seized control of the Americas New Flag race, he barely looked back.

Elsewhere, Manami Iijima (GUM) will become Guam’s first Olympian in triathlon by receiving the Oceania New Flag slot. Moreover, this will be the first time ever in Olympic triathlon history that the Oceania New Flag place has been taken. In the past year, Iijima has won three silver medals at Asia Cup events, in Pokhara, Hong Kong and Kota Kinabalu, and her qualification represents a milestone for her country. Vicky Van Der Merwe (RSA), the reigning African champion, took the African New Flag after enjoying an unbeaten run on African soil in 2024. Her recent successes have included victories at the African Games and defending her continental crown.

The universality places

Four athletes have also added their names to the Paris start lists, of which three came through the universality route. Edda Hannesdottir (ISL) made a comeback from a significant injury setback this year to win three Asia Cup medals in a row. She won in Pokhara, finished 2nd in Subic Bay and then added a bronze medal in Osaka. Together, her results bumped her up the world rankings and she has received a universality berth, making her the first triathlete from Iceland to start at the Games. 

Tyler Smith (BER) and Eloi Adjavon (TOG) also earned the two men’s universality places. Smith finished 7th at the 2023 Pan American Games and raced at the 2022 Commonwealth Games while Adjavon placed 5th at the 2023 Africa Championships. Whereas Smith will be building upon a legacy established by Flora Duffy’s Olympic gold in Tokyo, Adjavon is in line to become Togo’s first Olympian in triathlon.

The final Team World Triathlon member that will be at the Games is Erica Hawley (BER). Hawley missed out on qualifying through the Olympic rankings by two places (she ended the window ranked 60th when 58th took the final slot). However, after the second universality slot was not allocated, Hawley was first in line in the roll down and thus the World Cup medallist made the cut.

Looking ahead to Los Angeles

Of course, such is the nature of Olympic qualification, not everyone on Team World Triathlon was able to fulfil their Paris ambitions. Several athletes came extremely close and will be in the hunt for Olympic qualification in 2028.

One such athlete was Zuzana Michlickova (SVK), who entered WTCS Cagliari as one of five women with a real shot of claiming the final qualifying slot in the women’s Olympic rankings. In the end, Michalickova managed a personal best WTCS finish of 33rd in Cagliari, but it was not enough to propel her up the rankings. Considering she also logged a series of top-10 finishes at the World Cup level, she will be one to watch in the near future.


Michalickova’s compatriots, Ivana Kuriackova and Romana Gajdošová, also came close to earning Olympic qualification. Kuriackova led the European New Flag race at points, including in 2024. In April she won the Americas Cup in La Guaira and seemed on the cusp of inking her name onto the Paris start list, however she was pipped by the irresistible surge of Roksana Slupek (POL). Meanwhile, Gajdošová won her first World Cup medal in Yeongdo in 2023 as an indicator of the major progress she displayed over the qualifying window.

In a similar fashion to Michalickova, Badr Siwane (MAR) came agonisingly close to nailing Olympic qualification through the Olympic rankings. He ended the qualifying window ranked 86th when 83rd ultimately sufficed. Siwane won silver medals at the African Games earlier in the year and at the Africa Championships in 2023.

Furthermore, there were close calls in other New Flag races. Raquel Solis Guerrero (CRC) recently won the Americas Cup in Calima which boosted her hunt for the Americas New Flag. In the end, though, she narrowly missed out. Solis’ teammate, Alvaro Campos Solano, is another that will be looking to the future while Amber Schlebusch and Hannah Newman will take inspiration from their compatriot Van der Merwe. Notably, Schlebusch has won multiple Continental Cup events, such as the Americas Cup in Sarasota and the Asia Cup in Hong Kong, and could be one to watch going forward.

Perhaps the most dramatic rise of any Team World Triathlon member came from Panagiotis Bitados (GRE) in 2023. Having only made his international debut at the start of the season, the Greek athlete went on to finish 4th at the World U23 Championships. Bitados has already improved rapidly and is part of a group including Michalickova that will still be eligible for U23 competition for a couple more years.


Paula Vega (ECU) another young athlete that missed out on Paris but can be counted on to rise further on the path to Los Angeles. Among her recent highlights was her win at the 2023 Americas Cup in Manta. Similarly, the Ecuadorian duo of Gabriel Terán Carvajal and Ramón Armando Matute came close but were beaten to the Americas New Flag by Wright. Like Vega, Terán medalled at the 2023 Americas Cup in Manta; he took the silver medal. Matute was the 2023 South American champion and won multiple Americas Cup races during the Olympic qualification window.

The remaining members of Team World Triathlon have also shown encouraging form lately. Vitalii Vorontsov (UKR) took a bronze medal at the Americas Cup in La Paz after winning two Americas Cup silver medals in 2023. Moira Miranda (ARG) placed 14th at the Pan American Games and 3rd at the 2023 South American Championships. Henry Räppo (EST) became the Baltic champion in 2023 and Aleksandr Kurishov (UZB) won two medals at Asia Cup races last year.

Across the board, then, Team World Triathlon made great strides throughout the Olympic qualification window. There were maiden World Cup podiums, WTCS debuts and a glut of Continental Cup medals. While those that have qualified for Paris will now prepare for the biggest race of their careers so far, all the members of the current Team will no doubt continue to make eye-catching advances in the sport.

Article tags paris 2024
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