Ironman announced today that beginning in the 2019 qualifying year, both the Ironman World Championship and the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will no longer use the KPR and PR 70.3 points system for the pro field.
The points qualifying systems will stay in place for the 2018 fields, but the current points-based system will be replaced by and return to a slot qualifying system used before the advent of the KPR.
The top pro finishers at qualifying Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events will be allotted slots on the basis of the number of professional starters. The Regional Qualifying Events will be assigned the greatest number of qualifying slots and each qualifying Ironman or Ironman 70.3 event will have a minimum of one men’s and one women’s professional slot.
The guaranteed base slot allocations will be equal for both male and female professional athletes. For the global 2019 Ironman professional calendar, the total number of professional Ironman slots is expected to be approximately 100, similar to the current total allocation. Based on the 2019 Ironman 70.3 professional calendar, the current two-day format of the 70.3 Worlds could allow for up to 170 professional triathletes split between days.
The five year World Champion exemption will remain in effect with the addition of a one year exemption for Ironman World Championship podium finishers and a return to a reciprocal exemption invitation for the Ironman 70.3 World Champion at the next Ironman World Championship.
All exemptions remain subject to completion of a validation race and remain additional to the guaranteed allocations to qualifying events.
"The return to the slot system celebrates our champions and Ironman host communities around the world and changes the focus squarely back to recognizing great performances on race day,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer for Ironman. “If you win you are in, and athletes will no longer need to calculate how to plan their race schedule to qualify."