WTC has announced some changes to the 2014 KPR and 70.3PR systems. Big adjustments include making the Ironman World Championship an 8000-point race, and the elimination of the 1000-point class in the KPR hierarchy. As a result, all Ironmans will be 2000-point events, with the exception of the Championship events in Melbourne, Frankfurt and Mont-Tremblant which will carry 4000-points for the win, and the Ironman World Championship with 8000, as mentioned.
Some professional athletes have taken issue with the heavy weighting given to the World Championship. Basically, a Top-10 finish will see an athlete in very good stead to qualify with ease the following year. In contrast, without racing in Hawaii, it appears the road to the start line for professional athletes will become more difficult. Julie Dibens, who is on the return to elite racing after foot surgery, tweeted that “it will now be even harder for someone not at Kona in ’13 to get there in ’14”. Ironman Asia-Pacific Champion Corrine Abraham agreed, saying “Seems to me that the new KPR is going to see a very similar top 10 yr on yr. Going to be [very] difficult for new pro to enter the Kona ranks, no?.”
The jury is still out. It appears, though, that on most fronts, the latest tweaks are widely accepted to be an improvement on the system that was introduced back in 2010.
Athlete feedback led to new 2014 KPR and 70.3PR scoring
Responding to feedback from professional athletes and event organizers, the World Triathlon Corporation announced today that the points ranking systems for its world championship events will be adjusted for the 2014 qualifying year.
The goal of the new system is to continue to reward and qualify the 50 most competitive professional men and 35 professional women for the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
The key adjustment is an increase in the number of points available for the IRONMAN World Championship “it will now be a P-8000 level event, bringing the Kona Points Ranking (KPR) into alignment with the 70.3 Points Ranking (70.3PR). Additionally, there will only be three levels of scoring for full-distance events (P-8000/ P-4000/ P-2000), with the removal of the P-1000 scoring level. The scoring levels for Ironman 70.3 (70.3PR) remain the same.
“We made these modifications based on feedback from our athletes,” says IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick. “They wanted a system that rewarded athletes who finished in the top ten in World Championships (which has always been considered the benchmark of excellence in the sport), top five finishers from regional championship events and top three finishers at all other races.”
IRONMAN champion Jordan Rapp was one of many professional athletes who felt the system needed some tweaking.
“The goal was to objectively classify performances in a consistent and universal manner that also reflects our subjective sense of what determines excellence,” says Rapp, who helped develop the new points system.
The new points distribution/formula remains true to the goal of rewarding athletes who perform well and accomplish a top ten finish at World Championship events. The dropoff of points at races is now steeper, rewarding athletes who perform in the top five at championship-level races and those who win other races.
The adjusted points will be introduced starting with 2014 qualifying at IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman in August for the 70.3PR and IRONMAN Wisconsin for KPR in Septebmer.
ADJUSTED POINTS CHART: