Russell White - Down to the Wire

On a mission

Russell White heads to Cuba this weekend on a mission to secure his position on the Olympic qualification rankings.

After almost two years of racing and dozens of gruelling events around the world, White is on track to secure a coveted Olympic qualifying spot.

But with just 55 places on the start list in Tokyo 2020, competition is fierce and nothing is certain until the qualification period closes in May 2020.

White currently lies in 58th position on the ITU's Olympic Individual Qualification Ranking table but this only tells part of the complicated story of securing a place in Tokyo 2020. A better indicator can be obtained by downloading the most up to date men's simulation table which shows White holding position 53 out of the 55 qualification positions available.

      

Russell White 20/02/20 Social Card Insta

Crucial Period

White earned 1207.57 points during the first year of the two year qualification period and has amassed 942.20 points so far in this period, making a series of upcoming races crucial.

Even then, White's attendance in the Olympics is technically not guaranteed as the position he secures is allocated to Ireland and it's up to the Olympic Federation of Ireland to nominate which of the eligible and available Irish triathletes will represent Ireland at the Olympics.

Fighting

Just before he flew out of Dublin airport, White took us for a drive around Howth and filled us in on his situation. 

"I have my foot in the door for Olympic selection but only just, the reality of the Olympics is that it's only 55 in the whole world will be on that start line in Tokyo."

"Every single race counts, it's so tight and I'm still fighting for one of the last spots on that start list," he said.

Russell White Howth Feb 2020

Pressure

White heads in to the Habana Panamerican Cup ranked 6th on the race start list. Continental cup results don't actually count towards the Olympic rankings but a good result will boost White's ITU World Ranking and help him secure a starting place in the all-important forthcoming World Cup and World Triathlon Series events.

White said with just months to go, the pressure is on: "You know there are guys I've grown up watching that are even behind me, chasing me down to try to steal that spot. There's no mercy, you race the circuit and everybody wants to see everyone do well but 55 in the whole world going to the Olympics is just so tight."