Olympic triathlon ranking movers after big weekend of racing in Napier

by Ben Eastman on 26 Feb, 2024 08:55 • Español
Olympic triathlon ranking movers after big weekend of racing in Napier

In a blockbuster start to the season, Callum McClusky and Sophie Linn powered to the gold medals at the Napier World Cup. The next day, the Australian team stormed to another win as they crossed the line first in the Mixed Team Relay.

Beyond the successes themselves, the racing in Napier held wider ramifications. As a World Cup and World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series stop, respectively, the events counted towards Olympic qualification. Significantly, a few athletes and teams have made major strides forward with their Napier results.

The Men’s Olympic Rankings

One of the most pertinent moves in the Olympic rankings came from Alberto Gonzalez Garcia (ESP), the bronze medallist in Napier. His 3rd place finish helped him to a four-place gain in the rankings, putting him in 36th overall. This is particularly relevant as Spain currently has two men inside the top-30. They will need a third man to join the top-30 if they are to send three male triathletes to Paris.

With Sergio Baxter Cabrera (ESP, 32nd), David Castro Fajardo (ESP, 35th) and Gonzalez all in the top-40, one of the athletes could breach the top-30. Time, though, is certainly getting tight.

One of the reasons for Baxter falling to 32nd was Dylan McCullough (NZL) rising five places to 27th after finishing 5th in Napier. McCullough therefore becomes the second New Zealand man inside the top-30 as things stand.

Moreover, Alessio Crociani (ITA) finished 6th and Samuel Dickinson (GBR) placed 7th, results that helped both athletes rise in the rankings. Crociani is up to 87th in the rankings, having shot up by eleven places, Dickinson gained eight places and is now 63rd. Neither have a full quota of scores and so could rise further. Their countries will need them to make it all the way into the top-30, though, if they are to have any effect on qualifying a possible third man to Paris.

The Women’s Olympic Rankings

One of the big winners in the women’s rankings was the gold medallist in Napier, Sophie Linn (AUS). While her teammate Callum McClusky (AUS) moved up fifteen places to 81st, Linn rose ten places into 62nd. Crucially, she is now only seven places away from being the second highest-ranked Australian woman.

Another woman making major moves was Melanie Santos (POR). The Portuguese athlete finished 4th and jumped nine places to 61st. As a result, she has entered the forecasted list of individual qualifiers for the Olympic Games.

The 6th place finish of Ilaria Zane (ITA) could also be an important stepping stone. Zane has moved up five places to 34th in the rankings. She is therefore close to being the third Italian woman in the top-30 in the rankings. Should she gain a few more places, Italy could send three women to Paris, but Seregni, Betto, Steinhauser and Zane can all stake a claim on one.

On the flip side, due to the depth of the British team, the medals of Sophie Alden (GBR) and Olivia Mathias (GBR) will have minimal effect on Olympic qualification, Britain is already a shoo-in to qualify three women to Paris. The presence of four British women already inside the top-15 of the rankings checks the top-30 requirement with plenty of room to spare. While Alden and Mathias both made major moves in the rankings, then, their changes won’t have broader implications for their country.

Mixed Relay Olympic Rankings

Finally, we come to the Mixed Team Relay. It is perhaps here that the most noteworthy shifts took place in the wake of Napier.

To start with, Australia leap-frogged America in the Olympic rankings, putting them 6th overall. The Australian team is now close to guaranteed to qualify 2 + 2 for the Paris Olympics.

As a reminder, the six best teams in the Olympic relay rankings, excluding those teams that have automatically qualified (France, Britain and Germany), will qualify. For those teams that do not secure a qualifying slot, attention will turn to the Olympic Mixed Team Relay Qualification Event in Huatulco.

With Britain (1st), Germany (2nd) and France (3rd) occupying the top-3 slots in the rankings, Australia’s elevation to 6th has all but confirmed their qualification.

Of even greater note were the gains made by the Italian and Portuguese teams after finishing 3rd and 2nd, respectively, in Napier. Italy climbed two places into 8th in the rankings while Portugal jumped three places into 9th. In doing so, the two teams have knocked Spain and Norway out of the forecasted relay qualifiers.

Spain may be able to overcome the loss of place as they should qualify two women and at least two men individually to the Games. As such, they will earn the right to start in the relay without actually qualifying one.

However, the Norwegian team does not have the same luxury. The swing in the Olympic rankings may therefore have a profound consequence for their relay hopes.

Napier was the penultimate World Mixed Relay Series stop of the Olympic qualification window. The last outing will be in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight. As such, there could yet be further shifts in the relay qualification outlook. 

Stay up to date with the upcoming action on TriathlonLive.tv and across World Triathlon social channels.

Tracker Pixel for Entry
Latest News
more news →