By Fergus Murray on 22/06/10 at 8:07 pm
This group of 20 athletes includes established triathlon legends as well as emerging new superstars. ITU established the Gold Group in 2009 as a means of raising the profile of its outstanding athletes and their national federations, and to highlight the stars within the sport. The Gold Group consists of high-performing athletes who will act as the premier athlete ambassadors of ITU, and will encourage the general public and youth to participate in the sport. Members of the Gold Group enjoy the exclusive privilege of securing extra quota spots for their respective countries at all Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series events.
The initial Gold Group for the first three events of the 2010 season was formed by taking the three 2008 Olympic Triathlon medallists (for both men and women) and then adding the next seven highest-ranked athletes from the 2009 world rankings.
The modified Gold Group for the second half of the season includes the six Beijing medallists, the top three men and women from the 2009 world rankings and then next highest-ranked athletes based on the first three Series events of 2010. Athletes who meet these criteria but are not currently ranked in the top 20 of the world rankings may be dropped at ITU’s discretion. Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes, the Beijing silver medallist, is not included in the modified Gold Group as she is currently ranked outside of the top 20. Additionally, no country may have more than two men or two women in the Gold Group to ensure regional equity.
Members of the Gold Group for the remainder of the 2010 season are: