By Kent Gray/
World Triathlon has opted against squeezing a new World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) round into its packed pre-Paris Olympic Games schedule to replace this month’s cancelled season opener in Abu Dhabi.

Instead the global governing body’s Executive Board has agreed to increase the size of start lists at WTCS, World Cups, World Triathlon Para Series and World Triathlon Para Cups within the Olympic and Paralympic qualification periods. 

It means the two remaining WTCS events in the qualification window, Yokohama (May 11) and Cagliari (May 25), will extend entries from 55 to 60 per gender.

Upcoming World Cups in Hong Kong (March 24), Wollongong (April 20), Chengdu (April 29), Huatulco (May 18-19) and Samarkand (May 18-19) will increase from 65 to 70 athletes per gender. 

The World Triathlon Para Series events in Montreal (June 29) and Para Cups of Taranto (June 8) and Besancon (June 15) will see two athletes per gender and per medal event added.

 After consultation with its ‘Coaches and Athletes’ Committee, World Triathlon has also decided that there will be no replacement of the Abu Dhabi Mixed Relay Series event.

That will see  the Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Rankings officially closed as of March 25.

New Zealand is therefore ranked 4th behind Great Britain, Germany and France and guaranteed a Mixed Team Relay start at the XXXIII Olympaid, plus two male and two female spots in the individual races as a result.

There is a last chance Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification event for countries that have not already qualified for Paris tagged to World Cup Huatulco.

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