What to watch for on the 2015 ITU calendar

By Erin Greene | 24 Feb, 2015

The World Triathlon Series will no doubt be a focal point of the 2015 ITU calendar, but add in eight World Cups, the Rio de Janeiro Test Event, two major international events, multisports and the World Paratriathlon Events circuit and we’ve got one scintillating season in store. Today we continue our season previews with another round up of events you can’t afford to miss. 

Road to Rio:

Olympic qualification will be on everyone’s mind this season as they look to secure their spots well in advance of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. While the World Triathlon Series offers up the most points, don’t forget that World Cups also provide opportunities to add up qualifying points though to a lesser degree. Continental Championships and international sporting events like European Games will also provide qualifying slots. Add in the Rio Test Event and the stakes are high across the season.

Set to be contested on the same course as the Olympic Games, as a Level 1 Olympic Qualification Event, this summer’s Test Event will offer the maximum level of Olympic qualification points available, putting it on par with the World Triathlon Series Grand Final. With both triathlon and paratriathlon races held August 1-2, this is one weekend you’re going to want to block off now.

Paralympic qualification kicks off:
Paratriathlon’s long awaited debut at the Paralympic Games is now just over a year away. The hunt for qualification points will start on July 1 of this year, with the Iseo – Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Event the first race to put points on the board. All of the WPE races from then until June 30, 2016 will serve as critical races to synch up one of the 60 available spots. The WPE season starts in Buffalo City, South Africa on March 1 and will be held on every continent over 10 races before concluding with the World Championships in Chicago in September. More on the WPE calendar here.

Playing Games:
Two major international events will take place this summer with both European Games and Pan American Games on the books. Triathlon will take place from June 13-14 at the first ever European Games, and will serve as Europe’s Olympic quota place competition, meaning someone will punch their ticket to Rio in Baku. More on European Games here.

Just one month later, triathlon will again take to the international stage, this time at the Pan American Games in Toronto from July 12-13. Like European games, Pan Ams provides an Olympic quota place meaning the stakes are high. These events are free for spectators, so get down and cheer on triathlon’s fastest athletes. More on Pan American Games here.

Mixing it up:
The athletes wanted it. National Federations applauded it. And you demanded it. Back in action yet again will be the Mixed Relay World Championships. Last year, young French and Hungarian teams announced their speed to the world when they blasted past handfuls of veteran teams for podium finishes. Set to be held in conjunction with World Triathlon Hamburg, be on the lookout for quick change overs, unexpected lead changes and of course some gravity defying dives. 

World Cup circuit:
World Cup races represent an important opportunity for athletes to secure Olympic qualifying points. This year the circuit will feature eight events across Oceania, Asia, Europe and the Americas, meaning those points are never too far away. Between sprint and standard distance events, the variety of the World Cup races will add extra spice to this year’s ITU racing. More on World Cups here.

With so much swimming, biking and running action, there is a triathlon for everyone. Add in the duathlon, aquathlon, long distance triathlon, and cross triathlon on the calendar and there’s a bonafide race for all multisport lifestyles. For a little off road action, check out Cross Triathlon World Champs in Italy this September. If you like to go long, time to start looking for flights to Sweden in June for Long Distance Triathlon World Champs. If you like to stay dry, we’ve got two options for you – keep it short and sweet with Duathlon World Champs in Australia in October or go long in Switzerland come September. More on multisports here.