The ITU’s international triathlon circuit, which includes the World Triathlon Series, World Cups and Continental Championships, is the battleground for Olympic qualification. The two-year period, from June 1st 2010 until May 31st 2012, is an intensive journey for athletes, who compete for themselves but also for their respective countries to secure berths for London 2012.

The qualification process for triathlon works from two sides, the ITU and then each athletes own National Federation and National Olympic Committee (NOC).

First, athletes collect ITU Olympic qualification points to secure a place for their country on the start line. With a total of 55 places in the men’s and women’s races, a maximum of eight National Olympic Committees can qualify three places. Other NOC’s can qualify a maximum of two.

The next step is for athletes to qualify for their country’s Olympic team based on the criteria set by their National Federations. Both processes continue until May 31st 2012, with the make up of the final field selected on ITU qualification criteria and then the athletes nominated by their National Federation, before being selected by their National Olympic Committee.

The majority of Olympic slots are decided through the ITU Olympic qualification points list. National Federations can also gain spots if one of their athletes wins a continental championship, through the qualification and test event in London 2011, and through New Flag slots – in which the ITU awards berths to one country per continent, that would otherwise not have a slot.

The host nation automatically gets one men’s and one women’s berth.

The perfect four from four

Just getting to one Olympic Games is a huge achievement for any athlete. So multiple Olympians deserve to feel pretty special.

There is a handful of triathletes who are aiming for an amazing fourth consecutive Olympic Games; each edition since triathlon’s inclusion in Sydney.

There are only two women to have race in all three: {exp:tag_this}Kiyomi Niwata{/exp:tag_this} (JPN) and {exp:tag_this}Anja Dittmer{/exp:tag_this} (GER). In the men’s field, there are 11 athletes who have raced in each Olympic Games. They are {exp:tag_this}Simon Whitfield{/exp:tag_this} (CAN), {exp:tag_this}Ivan Rana{/exp:tag_this} (ESP), {exp:tag_this}Hunter Kemper{/exp:tag_this} (USA), {exp:tag_this}Reto Hug{/exp:tag_this} (SUI), {exp:tag_this}Tim Don{/exp:tag_this} (GBR), {exp:tag_this}Andriy Glushchenko{/exp:tag_this} (UKR), {exp:tag_this}Csaba Kuttor{/exp:tag_this} (HUN), {exp:tag_this}Olivier Marceau{/exp:tag_this} (SUI), {exp:tag_this}Juraci Moreira{/exp:tag_this} (BRA), {exp:tag_this}Volodymyr Polikarpenko{/exp:tag_this} (UKR) and {exp:tag_this}Filip Ospaly{/exp:tag_this} (CZE).

1 June 2010 - 31 May 2012 Period of Olympic qualification
1 May 2011 - 30 April 2012 Period for ITU Continental Olympic Qualification Events (Locations TBC)
6 - 7 August 2011 2011 ITU World Olympic Qualification Event (London, GBR)
1 November 2011 IOC will contact all NOCs who are eligible to apply for Tripartite
Commission Invitation Places
16 January 2012 Deadline for NOCs to submit their requests for Tripartite Invitation
Commission Places
1 May – 9 July 2012 The Tripartite Commission will confirm, in writing, the allocation of Invitation
Places to NOCs.
8 June 2012 ITU to inform NOCs of qualification places
22 June 2012 NOCs to inform ITU of use of qualification places
2 July 2012 ITU to confirm final allocation of qualification places
9 July 2012 Deadline for London 2012 Organising Committee to receive entry forms