Triathlon Games qualifiers are ‘null and void’

THIS highly-competitive domestic triathlon season has become ‘null and void’ as regards qualification for the next Island Games – whenever that may be.

The postponement of the Guernsey Island Games means exciting teenage prospect Thierry Le Cheminant will be old enough to compete on home soil should be make the grade. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28708577)
The postponement of the Guernsey Island Games means exciting teenage prospect Thierry Le Cheminant will be old enough to compete on home soil should be make the grade. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28708577)

That is Triathlon Club president Mark Naftel’s announcement following the sad, but ultimately unsurprising, postponement of the spectacle that was set to take place on Guernsey surf and turf next year.

Triathlon is arguably the highest profile sport to have already run its qualifying process locally, although Naftel had already considered the prospect that the resulting squads could be non-starters.

This led to a decision not to name them before last weekend’s big announcement from the International Island Games Association.

‘What it means for us is that everything that has been done this season is null and void,’ Naftel said.

‘Our triathletes went to great lengths to get qualifying results in.

‘We held back from announcing those that have qualified because it was fairly tight for the lesser places and we had the view there’s no point in naming a squad that’s unlikely to get to race. That has validated our decision not to announce, and we will have to go through the whole process again.’

This year’s revised process consisted of a series of qualifying time-trials and then a major head-to-head between the top locals on the intended Games route at Rocquaine.

Some triathletes will inevitably lose out and some will benefit from a re-run, with outstanding teenager Thierry Le Cheminant finally old enough to race Olympic distance at Games level in 2022 and others being able to continue their development in the meantime.

Yet the extent of the postponement remains uncertain for the time being.

‘There’s now the uncertainty of whether we will be doing it in ’22 or ’23, so we need to wait now until we have some certainty as to the year it’s going to take place,’ the Tri Club president added.

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