ITU World Triathlon Series

The ITU World Triathlon Series is the International Triathlon Union's annual series of triathlon events used to crown an annual world champion. There are multiple rounds of competitions culminating in a Grand Final race. Athletes compete head-to-head for points in these races that will determine the overall ITU world champion. The elite championship races are held over two distances the standard and the sprint distance.

ITU World Triathlon Series
Inaugural season2009
Most recent
 Vincent Luis (FRA)
 Katie Zaferes (USA)
Most titles Javier Gómez (ESP) (5)
Official website
Current World Triathlon Series

As of 2018 a mixed relay series is to be run in tandem, where national teams compete in mixed team relays for prize money and Olympic qualifying points.[1] One of these races will be the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships.


With the establishment of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) in 1989 it was quickly established that the governing body should host a yearly world championship to establish the men's and women's world champion. With the creation and hosting of the first ITU Triathlon World Championship in 1989 the ITU had established itself and the sports premier event but the sport overall lacked cohesion with races of varying lengths and prize pools, which increased the difficulty for triathletes to train and plan for seasons ahead. So in 1991 the ITU created the ITU Triathlon World Cup a year long series of races all hosted by the ITU with regular distances and prize money. With a world championship and a regular season established the ITU's attention moved onto other issues including earning the sport a place at the Olympics.

Then in 2008 the day after the 2008 men's Olympic triathlon race the ITU announced starting next year it would be replacing the single race world championship with a six-race World Championship points super series culminating in a Grand Final, it was to be called the World Championship Series (WCS).[2] The ITU believed it would help grow the sport and increase the reach to the level of major sports whilst gaining a bigger TV audience.[3] Most athletes and professional coaches were happy at the announcement believing it would help the sport become more popular and increase professionalism and pay for the top level athletes. However, there were major monetary concerns one week after the announcement as the ITUs main sponsor BG had pulled out of its nine-year sponsorship deal after only two years.[4][5]

By its start in 2009 the series had gained a title sponsor in Dextro Energy[6][7][8] in a $2 million deal allowing for each World Championship event to feature a $150,000 prize purse and for the Grand final to have $250,000, this also meant that $700,000 was available at the end of the series. This influx of cash meant that athletes would be to earn almost triple what they had previously helping to draw more into the sport. In 2011 the sprint distance world championship was incorporated into the series giving the same points and prize money as any other event, from this point on sprint distance events would make up a part of the series.[9] In 2012 Dextro Energy ended their title sponsorship in tandem with the series rebranding itself as the World Triathlon Series.[10] Then in 2013 the prize pool saw an increase to $2.25 million certifying the world triathlon series as the richest series in triathlon.[10] In 2018 with the growing popularity of the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships and the disciplines' addition to the Olympic program [11] it was decided that at three of the events on the 2018 calendar a mixed relay event would be held alongside the men's and women's competition; these three events would grant points towards Olympic qualification and constitute the new ITU mixed relay series.[1]


Currently there are three different distance disciplines:

  • Standard- A 1500m swim followed by a 40 km cycle followed by a 10 km run.
  • Sprint- A 750m swim followed by a 20 km cycle followed by a 5 km run.
  • Mixed Team Relay- A 4 x ( 300m swim followed by a 7.5 km cycle followed by a 1.5 km run) where each athlete completes the swim bike run before tagging the next athlete, with the order of the athletes always being female, male, female, male.

In all instances the swim will be a mass start in open-water and the cycling will be draft-legal. There is an allowed leniency of 10% on each segment of courses route for the standard and sprint distances, with more discretion being allowed for the mixed relay. The standard distance was also known as the Olympic distance as it was the only distance competed for in the Olympics, however the ITU has tried to enforce the use of the name standard distance saving the name Olympic on for official Olympic events.


Men's championship

Year Gold Silver Bronze
2009  Alistair Brownlee (GBR)  Javier Gómez (ESP)  Maik Petzold (GER)
2010  Javier Gómez (ESP) (2 †)  Steffen Justus (GER)  Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
2011  Alistair Brownlee (GBR) (2)  Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)  Javier Gómez (ESP)
2012  Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)  Javier Gómez (ESP)  Dmitry Polyanskiy (RUS)
2013  Javier Gómez (ESP) (3)  Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)  Mario Mola (ESP)
2014  Javier Gómez (ESP) (4)  Mario Mola (ESP)  Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
2015  Javier Gómez (ESP) (5)  Mario Mola (ESP)  Vincent Luis (FRA)
2016  Mario Mola (ESP)  Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)  Fernando Alarza (ESP)
2017  Mario Mola (ESP) (2)  Javier Gómez (ESP)  Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)
2018  Mario Mola (ESP) (3)  Vincent Luis (FRA)  Jacob Birtwhistle (AUS)
2019  Vincent Luis (FRA)  Mario Mola (ESP)  Javier Gómez (ESP)

[12] The athlete won his first title as World Champion under the old world championship system.

Women's championship

Year Gold Silver Bronze
2009  Emma Moffatt (AUS)  Lisa Nordén (SWE)  Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
2010  Emma Moffatt (AUS) (2)  Nicola Spirig (SUI)  Lisa Nordén (SWE)
2011  Helen Jenkins (GBR) (2 †)  Andrea Hewitt (NZL)  Sarah Groff (USA)
2012  Lisa Nordén (SWE)  Anne Haug (GER)  Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
2013  Non Stanford (GBR)  Jodie Stimpson (GBR)  Anne Haug (GER)
2014  Gwen Jorgensen (USA)  Sarah Groff (USA)  Andrea Hewitt (NZL)
2015  Gwen Jorgensen (USA) (2)  Andrea Hewitt (NZL)  Sarah True (USA)
2016  Flora Duffy (BER)  Gwen Jorgensen (USA)  Ai Ueda (JPN)
2017  Flora Duffy (BER) (2)  Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)  Katie Zaferes (USA)
2018  Vicky Holland (GBR)  Katie Zaferes (USA)  Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR)
2019  Katie Zaferes (USA)  Jessica Learmonth (GBR)  Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR)

[12] The athlete won the title of World Champion under the old world championship system.

Medals classification

1 Spain (ESP)76417
2 Great Britain (GBR)65314
3 United States (USA)3339
4 Australia (AUS)2125
5 Bermuda (BER)2002
6 France (FRA)1113
 Sweden (SWE)1113
8 New Zealand (NZL)0235
9 Germany (GER)0224
10  Switzerland (SUI)0101
11 Japan (JPN)0011
 Norway (NOR)0011
 Russia (RUS)0011
Totals (13 nations)22222266


World Triathlon Series locations

The world triathlon series has visited 27 cities in 19 countries since its founding in 2009.

Country City Year
2009201020112012201320142015201620172018 2019
 Australia Gold CoastGFGF
 Austria Kitzbühel
 Bermuda Bermuda
 Canada EdmontonGF Mr Mr
 China BeijingGF
 Germany Hamburg Mr Mr
 Great Britain Leeds
Nottingham Mr Mr
 Hungary BudapestGF
 Japan Tokyo Mr
 Mexico CozumelGF
 Netherlands RotterdamGF
 New Zealand AucklandGF
 South Africa Cape Town
 South Korea Seoul
 Spain Madrid
 Sweden Stockholm
  Switzerland Lausanne GF
 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi Mr
 United States ChicagoGF
San Diego
Washington, D.C.

Where GF = Grand Final, Mr = Mixed Relay event

World Triathlon Series Grand Final locations

The final race of each season is known as the grand final and has extra points, prize money and prestige associated with it, when a city bids to host the grand final it also bids to host many ITU events such as the amateur Age-group world championships and the Paratriathlon world championship. The age-group world championships have featured in two popular autobiographical books. One by BBC newsreader Louise Minchin called Dare to Tri: My story from BBC Breakfast Sofa to Team GB triathlete,[13] and one by author and journalist Helen Croydon called This Girl Ran: Tales of a Party Girl turned Triathlete.[14] Coincidentally both wrote separate stories of taking to triathlon in later life and both culminated at age-group world championships in Chicago in 2015.

Year Date Location
2009 913 September Gold Coast, Australia
2010 812 September Budapest, Hungary
2011 1011 September Beijing, China
2012 2021 October Auckland, New Zealand
2013 1415 September London, Great Britain
2014 1 September Edmonton, Canada
2015 17 September Chicago, United States
2016 11-18 September Cozumel, Mexico
2017 14-17 September Rotterdam, Netherlands[15]
2018 12–16 September Gold Coast, Australia
2019 August 30–1 September Lausanne, Switzerland
2020 Unknown Edmonton, Canada

ITU Triathlon World Championship

ITU Triathlon World Championship
Replaced byITU World Triathlon Series

The world champion was formerly crowned in the ITU Triathlon World Championship, a single championship race that was held annually from 1989, the same year as the formation of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), to 2008.


Men's championship

Year Gold Silver Bronze
1989  Mark Allen (USA)  Glenn Cook (GBR)  Rick Wells (NZL)
1990  Greg Welch (AUS)  Brad Beven (AUS)  Stephen Foster (AUS)
1991  Miles Stewart (AUS)  Rick Wells (NZL)  Mike Pigg (USA)
1992  Simon Lessing (GBR)  Rainer Müller-Hörner (GER)  Rob Barel (NED)
1993  Spencer Smith (GBR)  Simon Lessing (GBR)  Hamish Carter (NZL)
1994  Spencer Smith (GBR) (2)  Brad Beven (AUS)  Ralf Eggert (GER)
1995  Simon Lessing (GBR) (2)  Brad Beven (AUS)  Ralf Eggert (GER)
1996  Simon Lessing (GBR) (3)  Luc Van Lierde (BEL)  Leandro Macedo (BRA)
1997  Chris McCormack (AUS)  Hamish Carter (NZL)  Simon Lessing (GBR)
1998  Simon Lessing (GBR) (4)  Paul Amey (NZL)  Miles Stewart (AUS)
1999  Dmitriy Gaag (KAZ)  Simon Lessing (GBR)  Miles Stewart (AUS)
2000  Olivier Marceau (FRA)  Peter Robertson (AUS)  Craig Walton (AUS)
2001  Peter Robertson (AUS)  Chris Hill (AUS)  Craig Watson (NZL)
2002  Iván Raña (ESP)  Peter Robertson (AUS)  Andrew Johns (GBR)
2003  Peter Robertson (AUS) (2)  Iván Raña (ESP)  Olivier Marceau (SUI)
2004  Bevan Docherty (NZL)  Iván Raña (ESP)  Dmitriy Gaag (KAZ)
2005  Peter Robertson (AUS) (3)  Reto Hug (SUI)  Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
2006  Tim Don (GBR)  Hamish Carter (NZL)  Frédéric Belaubre (FRA)
2007  Daniel Unger (GER)  Javier Gómez (ESP)  Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
2008  Javier Gómez (ESP)  Bevan Docherty (NZL)  Reto Hug (SUI)

Women's championship

Year Gold Silver Bronze
1989  Erin Baker (NZL)  Jan Ripple (USA)  Laurie Samuelson (USA)
1990  Karen Smyers (USA)  Carol Montgomery (CAN)  Joy Hansen (USA)
1991  Joanne Ritchie (CAN)  Terri Smith (CAN)  Michellie Jones (AUS)
1992  Michellie Jones (AUS)  Joanne Ritchie (CAN)  Melissa Mantak (USA)
1993  Michellie Jones (AUS) (2)  Karen Smyers (USA)  Joanne Ritchie (CAN)
1994  Emma Carney (AUS)  Anette Pedersen (DEN)  Sarah Harrow (NZL)
1995  Karen Smyers (USA) (2)  Jackie Gallagher (AUS)  Joy Leutner (USA)
1996  Jackie Gallagher (AUS)  Emma Carney (AUS)  Carol Montgomery (CAN)
1997  Emma Carney (AUS) (2)  Jackie Gallagher (AUS)  Michellie Jones (AUS)
1998  Joanne King (AUS)  Michellie Jones (AUS)  Evelyn Williamson (NZL)
1999  Loretta Harrop (AUS)  Jackie Gallagher (AUS)  Emma Carney (AUS)
2000  Nicole Hackett (AUS)  Carol Montgomery (CAN)  Michellie Jones (AUS)
2001  Siri Lindley (USA)  Michellie Jones (AUS)  Joanna Zeiger (USA)
2002  Leanda Cave (GBR)  Barbara Lindquist (USA)  Michelle Dillon (GBR)
2003  Emma Snowsill (AUS)  Laura Bennett (USA)  Michellie Jones (AUS)
2004  Sheila Taormina (USA)  Loretta Harrop (AUS)  Laura Bennett (USA)
2005  Emma Snowsill (AUS) (2)  Annabel Luxford (AUS)  Laura Bennett (USA)
2006  Emma Snowsill (AUS) (3)  Vanessa Fernandes (POR)  Felicity Abram (AUS)
2007  Vanessa Fernandes (POR)  Emma Snowsill (AUS)  Laura Bennett (USA)
2008  Helen Tucker (GBR)  Sarah Haskins (USA)  Samantha Warriner (NZL)

Medal table

PosNational Team
1 Australia 17 15 13
2 Great Britain 9 4 3
3 United States 5 5 9
4 New Zealand 2 4 5
5 Spain 2 3
6 Canada 1 4
7 Germany 1 1 2
8 Portugal 1 1
9 France 1 1
 Kazakhstan 1 1
11  Switzerland 1 2
12 Belgium 1
 Denmark 1
14 Brazil 1
 Netherlands 1

Host city

Year Date Location
1989 6 August Avignon, France
1990 15 September Orlando, United States
1991 13 October Queensland, Australia
1992 12 September Muskoka, Canada
1993 22 August Manchester, United Kingdom
1994 27 November Wellington, New Zealand
1995 12 November Cancún, Mexico
1996 24 August Cleveland, United States
1997 16 November Perth, Australia
1998 30 August Lausanne, Switzerland
1999 12 September Montreal, Canada
2000 30 April Perth, Australia
2001 22 July Edmonton, Canada
2002 910 November Cancún, Mexico
2003 67 December Queenstown, New Zealand
2004 9 May Madeira, Portugal
2005 1011 September Gamagōri, Japan
2006 23 September Lausanne, Switzerland
2007 30 August2 September Hamburg, Germany
2008 58 June Vancouver, Canada

See also


  1. "2018-WTS-Media-Guide" (PDF). 23 August 2018.
  2. Union, International Triathlon (2008-10-17). "ITU World Championship Series". Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  3. "ITU replaces one-day Elite World Championship with new six-race ‘Super Series’". Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  4. "BG drop triathlon sponsorship". 26 August 2009. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  5. Union, International Triathlon (2008-12-20). "The BG Legacy". Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  6. "Dextro Energy sign up with triathlon - SportsPro Media". Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  7. "Brand history". Dextro Energy. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  8. "Dextro to sponsor new triathlon series". 2014-09-18. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  9. "Sprint And Team Championships Added To The 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series | Triathlete". Triathlete. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  10. "2013 Series Guide" (PDF). International Triathlon Union. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  11. "Tokyo 2020: Mixed-gender events added to Olympic Games". BBC Sport. 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  12. Union, International Triathlon. "ITU Rankings Archive". Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  13. Louise Minchin; Audible Studios for Bloomsbury, Dare to Tri: My Journey from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to Team GB Triathlete, Audible Studios for Bloomsbury, retrieved 2019-09-28
  14. "Amazon page for This Girl Ran".
  15. "2016 & 2017 WTS Grand Final hosts revealed".
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