The Olympic triathlon qualification movers after the Chengdu World Cup

by Ben Eastman on 29 Apr, 2024 11:42 • Español
The Olympic triathlon qualification movers after the Chengdu World Cup

It was a day for breakaways at the Chengdu World Cup as Julie Derron (SUI) and Max Stapley (GBR) claimed the gold medals in style. You can watch back the thrilling races and see how they unfolded on TriathlonLive

As has been the case with the previous World Cup stops of 2024, the action in Chengdu also added yet another series of twists in the winding road to the Paris Olympic Games. From making individual hopes likelier to qualifying third athletes to shaking up the New Flags, Chengdu was part of a weekend in which plenty changed.

The Men’s Olympic Rankings

Finishes of 3rd for Tayler Reid (NZL) and 4th for Márk Dévay (HUN) have seen both rise in the Olympic rankings. Dévay has climbed two places in the ranking into 25th drawing one spot behind compatriot Bence Bicsák who finished 7th in Chengdu. With Csongor Lehmann entrenched in the top-10, Hungary have tightened their grip on a third men’s slot for Paris, Gabor Faldum also hoping it will be him.

A little further back, Reid’s medal-winning antics have seen him rise eight spots in the rankings into 28th. He now joins his countrymen Hayden Wilde and Dylan McCullough in the top-30. Should this picture remain unchanged, New Zealand will also receive three male Olympic slots, eliminating the need to choose between McCullough and Reid this summer.

Like Dévay, Jonas Schomburg (GER) gained two places in the rankings after finishing 2nd in Chengdu. Notably, he has now overtaken his compatriot Tim Hellwig in the Olympic rankings and now looks ever more likely to be joining him and Lasse Luhrs on the German Olympic squad, though Lasse Nygaard Priester will also be chasing hard in Yokohama after Chengdu disappointment.

Emil Holm (DEN) finished 6th in Chengdu, a result that sees him rise by nine places in the Olympic rankings. His performance has provided the final brushstrokes on the painting of his Paris visions for he now sits in 64th in the Olympic rankings and can start to feel safer. Meanwhile, Max Stapley’s maiden World Cup win saw him rise from 90th to 73rd. His jump on balance may have come too late to make a surge towards the top-30, which would deliver Britain a third men’s slot in Paris. His win, though, already gives him plenty to celebrate.

The Women’s Olympic Rankings

The flavour of the month in the women’s rankings has surely been Tilda Månsson (SWE). After a superb win a week earlier in Wollongong, the young Swedish athlete was back on the podium in Chengdu. In addition to representing her first medal over the Olympic distance, her result has seen her make a jump in the Olympic rankings for a second successive week.

Having risen eleven places into 61st after Wollongong, Månsson has gained a further ten places and now sits in 51st. Månsson was actually the final woman due to qualify through the provisional Olympic rankings in the wake of Wollongong and now she has buttressed her position further. With every weekend, it is becoming more likely that she will be the youngest triathlete to start at this summer’s Olympic Games.

Roksana Slupek (POL) won the bronze medal in Chengdu and has now broken into the top-100 of the Olympic rankings. She sits in 84th. On the one hand, she has the best part of thirty places to make up in the rankings to qualify for Paris and thus may seem a little too far behind to make a serious charge. On the other hand, Slupek only has three results in the second period of Olympic qualification under her belt. This is because she missed a large chunk of last season with injury.

Whenever Slupek races in May, then, she will essentially have a free hit at accruing Olympic points. Most of the athletes ahead of year have already hit their quotas of race results and can only gain points by improving upon existing performances. Whatever Slupek does, though, will see her rise further. Moreover, she has inserted herself into the fray for the European New Flag slot at the Olympic Games, a point that will be discussed later on.

One of the happiest teams in Chengdu was Italy as Ilaria Zane (ITA) and Alice Betto (ITA) finished 4th and 5th, respectively. While both were fantastic performances, the big talking point lies with Zane’s result. She has improved her Olympic ranking by eight places to 26th.

With Verena Steinhauser and Bianca Seregni already ahead of Zane, that makes it three Italian women in the top-30. Most importantly, it provisionally hands Italy a third women’s slot at the Games. Given the performances of Steinhauser, Seregni, Zane and Betto, though, four will have to somehow go into three when the final selection comes around.

Finally, Julie Derron climbed into the top-10 of the Olympic rankings on the back of her stunning win in Chengdu. She earned 500 points for her win and rose seven places to 10th. In the bigger picture, the Swiss athlete has sent a warning shot to the rest of the world and could be in the mix for an Olympic medal this summer.

The New Flag implications

As already touched upon with Slupek’s rise, the New Flag races to the Olympic Games have also seen some changes over the weekend. While Slupek left a hole in the wall from where she came crashing into the European New Flag conversation with her 3rd place in Chengdu, there were a couple of further noteworthy shifts elsewhere.

Ivana Kuriackova (SVK) won the Americas Cup in La Guaira to bolster her own hopes of claiming the European women’s New Flag. While Slupek climbed twenty-three places in the world rankings to 61st, Kuriackova rose by five places to take 57th. Less than 15 points now separate the two women.

Sinem Francisca Tous Servera (TUR) also cannot be ignored in this discussion. She entered the weekend as the leader of the European women’s New Flag race but now holds 60th in the world rankings. Likewise, Zuzana Michalickova (SVK) will be a threat. She finished 13th in Chengdu to gain a small boost in both her Olympic ranking (69th) and world ranking (65th).

Should Michalickova qualify for Paris through the Olympic rankings, she would block Kuriackova from earning the New Flag place. Right now, that would put Slupek onto the Games start list. Equally, Michalickova could still claim the New Flag herself. The race to Paris among the European women is therefore deliciously poised and will have no shortage of drama over the coming weeks.

Elsewhere, at the Asia Cup in Pokhara, Manami Iijima (GUM) finished 2nd to essentially guarantee that she will earn the Oceania women’s New Flag slot. In addition, Siefeldeen Ismail (EGY) won the men’s race and thrust himself up the world rankings into 102nd.

Entering the weekend, Jean Gael Laurent L`entete (MRI) led the African men’s New Flag race. However, Ismail’s win has seen him slice L`entete’s lead considerably. A 7th place finish in Pokhara helped L`entete to defend his current lead from 94th in the rankings but, with only a few weeks to go, Ismail is hunting down his continental rival.

With less than four weeks remaining, the races to Paris are showing no signs of slowing down. Stay up to date with the upcoming action on TriathlonLive and across World Triathlon social channels.

Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Cup Chengdu
29 Apr, 2024 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Max Stapley GBR 01:43:25
2. Jonas Schomburg GER 01:43:32
3. Tayler Reid NZL 01:43:39
4. Márk Dévay HUN 01:43:43
5. Valentin Morlec FRA 01:44:02
Results: Elite Women
1. Julie Derron SUI 01:55:18
2. Tilda Månsson SWE 01:56:09
3. Roksana Slupek POL 01:56:14
4. Ilaria Zane ITA 01:57:25
5. Alice Betto ITA 01:57:35
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