Kona Qualifying – One Week Before The July Cutoff

The race for the first round of Professional Kona slots is almost over: The July qualifying period ends on July 30th. There are only “one and a half” more Ironman races (IM Switzerland, and IM Canada in Whistler as WPRO only) and one more 70.3 race (Ecuador). This post looks at the situation before the last races, who’s currently in and who looks to make a jump in the rankings.

This is an excerpt from the latest update of the KPR Observer where I follow Pro qualifying through the season. If you like these kind of analysis, please subscribe now – until the end of 2017 qualifying, it’s available for a reduced price of 19$.

Women

There are 28 female slots available at the end of July. (There will be seven more in August.) Assuming that Lucy Gossage declines her slot (as she has indicated multiple times), here’s a table looking at the athletes on the bubble and those that still have a chance to pass Jocelyn McCauley who is currently in the last qualifying spot:

Rank Name Country  Points  Races Race Plan Needed
25 Grohmann, Katharina GER

4.470

3+1 (960/140)
26 Brandon, Lauren USA

4.425

2+2 (1600/515)
27 Abraham, Corinne GBR

4.400

3+1 (960/240)
28 McCauley, Jocelyn USA

 4.385

3+0 (385/0)
Mack, Danielle USA

3.450

3+0 (170/0) IM Canada 3rd
Li, Shiao-YU TWN

3.145

3+1 (540/320) IM Zürich Win
Joyce, Rachel GBR

3.140

1+2 (2000/220) IM Canada 3rd
Elmore, Malindi CAN

3.130

2+2 (1070/140) IM Canada 2nd
Holst, Tine DEN

3.035

3+1 (340/400) IM Zürich Win
Schaerer, Celine SUI

3.000

3+1 (515/345) IM Zürich Win
DiMichele Miller, Leslie USA

2.905

3+1 (230/220) IM Canada Win

(“Needed” is the minimum result needed for qualifying, however it does not assure a slot when others add points as well.)

(Update July 27th: Malindi was on an early IM Canada start list but won’t be racing.)

Meredith Kessler and Haley Chura were still in the running for a slot last week, they are now out of the Top 28 and have to hope for a rolldown. (Meredith is pregnant so is certainly going to decline.)

Here’s my best guess at who is going to receive one of the open four July slots:

  • Katharina Grohmann remains in the Top 28 (slot #1). There is however a chance for three ladies racing in Whistler to pass Katharina (Rachel – Malindi – Danielle), so Katharina is not safe yet.
  • The winner at IM Zürich is going to get a slot – either Shiao-Yu, Tine or Celine (slot #2).
  • Two more slots will probably come from the top finishers in Canada, best chances for Danielle and Rachel (slots #3 and #4).

This would mean that Lauren Brandon, Corinne Abraham and Jocelyn McCauley would drop out of the July slots and that they have to hope for a rolldown slot or hope for an August slot.

Men

There are 40 male slots available at the end of July. (There will be ten more in August.). Here’s a table looking at the athletes on the bubble and those that still have a chance to pass Kaito Tohara who is currently in the last qualifying spot:

Rank Name Country  Points  Races Race Plan Needed
33 Kotshegarov, Kirill EST

3.710

3+0 (340/0)
34 Kastelein, Nick AUS

3.690

1+2 (1280/640) IM Zürich
35 Thomas, Jesse USA

3.420

2+2 (1100/400) 70.3 Ecuador
36 Molinari, Giulio ITA

3.395

3+1 (720/750)
37 Colucci, Reinaldo BRA

3.390

1+2 (2455/435) 70.3 Ecuador
38 Chevrot, Denis FRA

3.390

2+2 (720/640)
39 Fox, Michael AUS

3.355

3+1 (405/320)
40 Tohara, Kaito JPN

3.330

3+1 (230/220)
  Wild, Ruedi SUI

3.310

1+2 (340/540) IM Zürich Finish
  Evoe, Patrick USA

3.163

3+1 (8/540) 70.3 Ecuador 8th
  Wiltshire, Harry GBR

3.085

2+2 (305/280) IM Zürich 6th
  Fontana, Daniel ITA

2.860

2+2 (515/135) IM Zürich 5th
  Sapunov, Daniil UKR

2.710

3+1 (685/345) IM Zürich 2nd
  Van Berkel, Jan SUI

2.475

1+2 (2090/145) IM Zürich 4th
  Wurf, Cameron AUS

1.925

3+1 (40/35) IM Zürich 2nd
  Graves, Philip GBR

1.850

3+1 (5/220) IM Zürich 2nd
  Koutny, Philipp SUI

1.680

3+1 (170/140) IM Zürich Win
  Santos, Fellipe BRA

1.435

1+2 (855/180) IM Zürich Win

(“Needed” is the minimum result needed for qualifying, however it does not assure a slot when others add points as well.)

Last week Patrick Evoe and Harry Wiltshire were still in the Top 40, now they will have to race unless they want to count on a rolldown slot.

With Ronnie Schildknecht going for his 10th title in Zürich and based on the available start lists, here’s my best guess at who is going to receive one of the open eight July slots:

  • The athletes currently in #33 to #34 (Kirill and Nick) will remain in the Top 40 (slot #1 and #2) even without racing.
  • Two of the three athletes on the Ecuador start list (Jesse, Reinaldo and Patrick) will get a slot (slots #3 and #4).
  • Ruedi Wild will finish in Zürich and secure slot #5.
  • At least two more of the Zürich athletes will race well. If I had to pick two, I’d go with Harry and Jan (slots #6 and #7).
  • This leaves one slot open (slot #8): Possibly Jesse (even if he’s not racing in Ecuador), another athlete from Zürich or maybe even Giulio Molinari if less than five athletes are able to overtake him.

This would mean that Denis Chevrot, Michael Fox and Kaito Tohara have to hope for a rolldown or an August slot. But there are so many different scenarios that it’s still possible for any of the athletes in the above table to get a slot or drop out of the slot ranks– it’ll be exciting racing on Sunday!

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