This weekend, there are the final races that give out points for Kona 2013:
This post has a look at what the current KPR ranking is after three Ironman races last weekend (including the P-4000 race in Mont Tremblant), what changes are possible and who I think the final qualifiers are going to be.
Please note that my analysis is based on the start lists that I was able to find or that I was sent by WTC – they may be outdated by now, and some additional athletes may have decided to go for the last few points. Please let me know if there are errors in my numbers or if you have some newer information that may change things.
Situation after Mont Tremblant
The big point race in Mont Tremblant (P-4000) and (to a lesser degree) the “smaller” races in Sweden (P-2000) and Copenhagen (P-1000) have changed the KPR standings quite significantly. Rather than list the “full” KPR standing, mixing those already qualified with those still looking for a slot (as WTC does), which just shows pretty meaningless overall positions, here are the athletes that are currently in the remaining Kona qualifying spots.
The women’s field in Kona will be 35 (+automatic qualifiers). 28 were already awarded at the end of July, so there are 7 more spots available:
The men’s field in Kona will be 50 (+automatic qualifiers). 40 were already awarded at the end of July, so there are 10 more spots available:
Update: I haven’t checked if all of these athletes are interested in a slot. At least Romain Guillaume indicated in an interview with the French Trimag that he won’t race Kona but wants to start to chase 2014 points in Wisconsin (but left the final decision open). So we may see some slots rolling down after all.
After having a look at the start list for the Brasil 70.3, the chance of anyone from the field getting the required points to cross the qualifying threshold is pretty slim. (We have two participants who are already qualified, Amanda Stevens and Igor Amorelli).
The best placed non-qualified women that I could find is Ariane Monticelli with 2.160 points. With Brasil giving out 750 points for the winner, she won’t be able to get into qualifying territory. The situation is similar for the men, the best places athlete is Jeremy Jurkiewicz with 3.620 points. If he wins the race, he’d get to 4.370 points, barely moving past Mike Schifferle. However, I expect that the number of points required is to move up, so the chances of Jeremy qualifying are more theoretical.
The situation for the field in Louisville is similar. Aside from one athlete already qualified (Thomas Gerlach), the best placed athletes (April Lea Gellatly with 3.300 points and Chris McDonald with 1.890 points) are too far back to get the required points in the P-1000 race. For a closer look at the field, check out my IM Louisville predictions post.
IM Canada will be held in Whistler for the first time this year. Being a P-2000 race it offers the best chances to get some final qualifying points. For a closer look at the field, please check out my IM Canada predictions post.
In the women’s field there is only one registered athlete who could get enough points to move beyond Eva Nystroem with 5.400 points: Olesya Pristayko with currently 3.850 points. However, she has five results already, so with winning Canada she’ll move to 5.570 points. (A 2nd place will only get her to 5.330, not enough to qualify.) Can she win Canada? It’s not impossible, but she just raced in Mont Tremblant so I’ll say it’s very unlikely.
All in all, I don’t expect any last minute changes in the women’s Kona qualifiers.
For the men, the situation is a lot more interesting as there are a number of athletes on the start list that sit around the current cutoff of 4.320 points:
- Daniel Halksworth – 4.820 points
- Mike Schifferle – 4.320 points
- Dominik Berger – 4.280 points
- Bruno Clerbout – 3.560 points
- Paul Amey – 3.515 points
Bryan Rhodes is currently at 2.400 points, but as he already has five results, he can’t increase his points beyond 4.300, so he’s not able to qualify any more. (In addition to the athletes mentioned, there is Matt Russell who is already qualified.)
Except for Bruno, all these athletes have raced last weekend. A lot of them already have the maximum number of five results which makes it even harder to predict what’s going to happen. Here’s my best “guesstimate”:
- Daniel should be safe – he’s currently sitting in 6th place, and even if all four of the other athletes move past him (which is very unlikely), he’ll still be 10th and get the final slot. So unless there are any surprise last minute additions to the field, there is no reason for him to race.
- Mike and Dominik – not sure if they are going to race again and what they will be able to achieve if they do. They probably need some more points, and even 400 should be enough (15th place in Canada).
- Bruno hasn’t raced a full-distance race since IM France. Unless he has a mechanical or runs into other major issues, he should get enough points to qualify. He needs about 900 points to move past Mike – 8th place is 960 points in Canada.
- Paul would need a solid number of points to qualify, I’d say at least 1.000. That would require a 7th place finish (1.040 points). I’m not sure if he wants to race Kona that much. If I had to guess, I’d say he doesn’t qualify even he starts in Canada.
To sum up, here are my picks for the final men’s qualifiers:
- Safe (6): Luke Bell, Brandon Marsh, Bert Jammaer, Stefan Schmidt, David Plese, Daniel Halksworth
- Looking Good (2): Romain Guillaume (if he accepts his slot), Pedro Gomes
- Needs to Race in Canada to Qualify (4): Bruno Clerbout, Mike Schifferle, Dominik Berger, and Paul Amey
I guess that two of the last category will race and make enough points. If that’s the case, it would also mean that Joszef Major (currently 9th) drops out of remaining 10 Kona spots. This makes 4.390 the “magic number” to beat for qualifying.