Image courtesy Manawatu Triathlon League/manawatutrifestival.nz
By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
While Triathlon New Zealand’s immediate focus is on the XXXIII Olympiad in Paris in little more than 20 months’ time, the road to Los Angeles 2028 and Olympic and Commonwealth Games campaigns beyond is now open for younger Kiwi hopefuls.
The critical development pathways were confirmed Tuesday with the announcement of the ‘Tri NZ Junior Triathlon Series’ for 2022-23.
Featuring both U16 and U19 divisions, the series will open at the GenX Homes/Marra Tinman Triathlon on Sunday week (Nov. 20) before the Dec. 16-18 Manawatu Triathlon League in Palmerston North and the Seven Oaks Kinloch Triathlon Festival in Taupo on Feb. 11-12.
Thereafter, each division will culminate at their own grand finale (with an associated higher points weighting) at the Oceania Junior (U19) Sprint Championship in Taupo on Feb. 25 and the NZ Schools Triathlon Championship/U16 Nationals in Wanaka on March 30-31.
Chris Willett, Tri NZ’s lead of development, is delighted to have the age and stage-appropriate racing locked in for the Kiwi summer as a pivotal aspect of the sport’s junior development framework. Athletes will race for national glory and prizes from Tri NZ sponsors 2XU and Asics as well as potential future international recognition.
“This group is six to 10 years away from being at those pinnacle events such as Los Angeles and the 2030 Commonwealth Games and for many, this is the start of the journey. We’re nurturing this cohort to represent New Zealand at the highest level,” Willett told Triathlon.kiwi.
“We’re really trying to increase the depth of field that we get at these local races. The more opportunities these juniors have to race against each other, the more chances they’ll have to develop the skills and racecraft they’ll need to compete offshore.
“We’re also building some early culture and connection with Tri NZ’s High-Performance program so that when they start travelling internationally in four to six years, they’re a team and they’re ready for the next step up.”
Tri NZ Chief Executive Pete De Wet is excited to see the next gen get their chance to shine.
“I love seeing opportunities presented to our junior athletes as they continue to progress in our sport,” De Wet said.
“The Tri NZ Junior Triathlon Series will offer our future stars meaningful competition against their peers and provide them with invaluable experience on their own triathlon journey. Tri NZ looks forward to supporting them along the way.
“Our future starts here.”
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Tri NZ’s 2022-23 Junior Triathlon Series
Gen X/Marra Tinman Triathlon
Tauranga, Nov. 20
– U16: Have-A-Go (300m swim/13km bike/3km cycle)
– U19: Sprint Distance (750m swim/20km bike/5km run)
Visit the TINMAN website HERE
Manawatu Triathlon League
Palmerston North, Dec. 16-18
• Toot Kit Palmy Prologue
– U16: 50m run/9km bike/50m run
– U19: 50m run/12km bike/50m run
• Zone3 Grand Prix Swim
– U16: 270m (wetsuit) /0.5km run/270m (non-wetsuit)/ 0.4km run
– U19: 540m (wetsuit) /1km/270m (non-wetsuit)/0.4km
•The Manawatu Mile Road Race
– U16: (1.06km)
– U19: (1.06km)
• Central Bicycle Studio Palmy Enduro
– U16: *1 run / **4 bike / *1 run / **4 bike / *1 run
– U19: *1 run / **6 bike / *2 run / **6 bike / *1 run
*Run lap = 900m
**Bike lap = 1.3km
The lowest overall cumulative time over the four events will be crowned the MTL Champion in each division.
Visit the MTL website HERE
Seven Oaks Kinloch Triathlon Festival
Taupo, Feb. 11-12
– U16: Youth Triathlon (300m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run) + Aquathlon (2.5km run, 1km swim, 2.5km run).
– U19: Sprint Triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) + Aquathlon (2.5km run, 1km swim, 2.5km run).
Visit the Tri-Sport Taupo website HERE
Grand Finales – 2023
Oceania Junior (U19) Sprint Championship Sprint (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run)
Taupo, Feb. 25
New Zealand Schools Triathlon Championship
Wanaka, March 30-31
Incorporates the U16 Tri NZ Junior Series final (Distance TBC)
Visit the Southland Triathlon and Multisport Club website HERE
Tri NZ Junior Triathlon Series T&Cs
– Athletes accrue points throughout the Tri NZ Junior Triathlon Series based on placing within each event
– The Series races will carry a weighting of 100 points across the weekend
– Grand Finale races carry a weighting of 200 points
– Where an event has multiple disciplines such as the Manawatu Triathlon League, the tables attached outline the points on offer across the weekend for that location. The sum of the points from that race will move forward for that location and count as one event towards their series accumulation
– Athletes may accrue points from a maximum of three locations across the series.
– An athlete’s best three scores will be counted towards their series total
– In the event of a tie, the athletes placing in the Grand Finale will decide position
– Athletes aged 16 as of January 1, 2023 will ‘age-group’ up to U19 for the races in 2023. In this case, Tri NZ will carry over any U16 points gained at Tinman and the MTL directly to the U19 points table to ensure athletes are not disadvantaged and ensure that athletes are racing in age and stage-appropriate events.
1st: 2XU and Asics hamper + trophy + medal
2nd: Asics voucher + medal
3rd: 2XU product + medal