The Ironman Group announced changes Thursday to its allocations for competitors in the 2020 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona.
The primary change involved extending the qualification window from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30. With this tweak, three races — in Penticton, Canada, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan and Vichy, France — will offer 60 qualification slots to the World Championship in addition to their existing slots for the 2021 World Championship.
More slots were added for athletes in the Kona Legacy Program, opening space for every eligible Legacy athlete on the waitlist. Qualifying athletes must have completed at least 12 full-distance Ironman-branded races and have never participated in the World Championship. The exact number of additional slots allocated for Legacy qualifiers has not been made public, and Ironman officials could not be reached for comment regarding new qualifiers.
As of Thursday, 56 Ironman races worldwide have either been rescheduled, postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That number includes the 70.3 Hawaii race, which has been moved from May 30 to Aug. 15. The Aug. 15 race will serve as a qualifier for the 2020 World Championship – scheduled for Oct. 10 in Kailua-Kona – as well as the 70.3 World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand, on Nov. 28, 2020.
Races which served as qualifiers for the 2020 World Championship that have been postponed to dates after Aug. 30 will now be considered part of the 2021 qualifying season.
Ironman events that do run going forward will be functioning under stricter guidelines due to COVID-19 concerns.
“The Ironman Group, along with the Ironman Global Medical Advisory Board, has outlined a series of pragmatic and practical actions designed to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 or any other infectious agent to athletes and to members of our host communities,” Andrew Messick, Ironman Group President and CEO, said in a release earlier this year. “These steps will help athletes achieve their goals while allowing communities to secure the benefits of hosting mass participation sporting events.”