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With nine young talents aiming for Tokyo glory, the Bahrain Endurance 13 will probably be sending its largest contingent yet to the Olympic Games, writes Lisa Pringle.
Selection of individual athletes during this disrupted Olympic cycle is more discretionary, as many of the events that determined automatic selection have been cancelled or postponed.
As Olympic qualification events resume through May to mid-June, athletes will race to improve their standing in selectors’ eyes and show their value.
Each national federation can secure a maximum three spots each for men and women, dependent on being in the Top 25 of the individual Olympic qualification rankings, Top 7 in the mixed relay Olympic qualification rankings, and topping qualification events. Most nations are set to finalise their Olympic squads by the end of the qualification period.
Officially, Vicky Holland has been named to the Team Great Britain women’s squad off the back of her podium performance at the Tokyo Olympic qualification event in 2019. She won the fifth place in individual Olympic qualification rankings.
On the men’s side, Alistair Brownlee will be campaigning strongly for selection, as Great Britain will have one or two more men’s spots to fill.
Vincent Luis, Tyler Mislawchuk, Kristian Blummenfelt, Henri Schoeman, and Javier Gomez are all within the Top 25 of the individual men’s Olympic qualification rankings, securing one spot each for France, Canada, Norway, South Africa, and Spain respectively.
Cassandre Beaugrand’s path to selection for the French team lies in her 17th rank as well as being part of the French mixed relay, currently at the top of the team rankings.
Lauren Parker sits atop the rankings for the paratriathlon and is certainly competing in Tokyo. However, she has also been campaigning hard for selection by Cycling Australia to the Olympic paracycling team, racing time trials and road races and simulating how she can back up from the paratriathlon to go into the paracycling races.
Count on the Bahrain Endurance 13 team to do all that is possible to get to Tokyo and aim for gold.