How does the Olympics impact the World Triathlon Series’ multi-race format?

Is it time for the World Triathlon Series to return to a one-off race for the world title? The question has been often posited since the International Triathlon Union first introduced the multi-race series in 2009 that demands triathletes accrue points throughout the season before lining up for an upweighted Grand Final.


The sport’s luminaries have long lamented abandoning a single showdown format, among the questioning voices, Alistair Brownlee. The two-time Olympic champion has featured increasingly sparingly since winning a second world title in 2011, but in enjoying the Grand Final spoils four times, has underscored his appetite for one-day competition.

The series concept is no failure. It gives prominence to regional races, is admirably global to widen triathlon’s outreach, and has established host venues that draw large crowds (Hamburg and Leeds) and loyal investment (Yokohama and Edmonton). It’s also climaxed in notable drama – the Jonny Brownlee versus Javier Gomez sprint finish in London, 2013, or Jonny’s implosion in Cozumel in 2016.