The World Triathlon Championship Series Grand Final in Abu Dhabi marks the climax to the longest World Triathlon season yet.
Due to Covid disruptions, the 2022 season started back in September 2021 in Hamburg and following eight events it will wrap-up over the Olympic distance in the Middle East on the last weekend in November.
It’s set to be a bumper payday for those at the sharp end because it isn’t just increased prize money for the individual races on offer, but payouts for the overall series rankings as the world champions are crowned.
How much can athletes win in Abu Dhabi?
The WTCS is the top tier of World Triathlon racing and regular season events such as Hamburg, Leeds and the penultimate race in Bermuda have a top prize of $18,000 for the winners.
This jumps to $30,000 for taking the tape in the Abu Dhabi Championship Final, with second place picking up $22,000 and the final podium position $16,000. The prize pot will also pay 25-deep in Abu Dhabi compared to the top 20 at regular WTCS races.
In addition, the final Maurice Lacroix World Triathlon Championship Series rankings will be determined with bonus pool payments dished out.
The series winners will collect $80,000 each, with $55,000 for second and then $37,000 for third place. The bonus pool pays down to 50th place and $2,700.
For athletes competing to win the world title, such as GB’s Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee, this means that a potential $110k is on the line in the Middle East – $30k for the race victory plus $80k for being crowned world champion.
In the case of Taylor-Brown that would be in addition to the $66,000 already claimed through three WTCS wins and a second-place, and $8,500 from mixed relay competition – making an overall tally of $184,500 in World Triathlon prize money in 2022.
How does the World Triathlon prize purse compare to Super League?
Given the WTCS is short-course racing and held over a multi-event series format, its nearest comparison is probably Super League Triathlon whose own mini-series finished in October in Saudi Arabia.
World Triathlon has a total prize purse of $3.5m that includes not just WTCS events, championship finals and bonus pool payouts, but also the mixed relay series, World Cups and U23 World Championships.
Super League’s overall payout is $1.4m over its shorter five-event series. The Championship Series winners, Taylor-Brown and Hayden Wilde, picked up $50,000 each, with an additional $20,000 on offer for individual event wins.
But there were other ways to top up the coffers including a share of the $320,000 on offer from the teams prize pool and $90,000 split between triathletes topping the individual discipline leaderboards.
How does the World Triathlon prize purse compare to the PTO?
Elsewhere, the Professional Triathletes Organisation is injecting some serious prize money into the sport too.
As well as $2m shared between the top 100 men and women for the end-of-year rankings ($100,000 for first place), there was a further $1.5m split between the 18 competitors for the Collins Cup where the top-ranked athletes were paid $90,000 appearance money.
Its PTO Tour events, the Canadian and US Opens, also paid a top prize of $100,000, with $70,000 and $50,000 given to the remaining podium places.
How does the World Triathlon prize purse compare to the Ironman World Champs?
The Ironman World Championship winners Gustav Iden and Chelsea Sodaro were paid $125,000 each for winning in Kona. Sam Laidlow and Lucy Charles-Barclay earned $65,000 for finishing runners-up and Kristian Blummenfelt and Anne Haug scooped $45,000 for third place.
Blummenfelt was back in action three weeks later adding another $50,000 for winning the Ironman 70.3 world title.
What is the pro prize purse in Abu Dhabi?
The total pro prize purse for the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series is shared among the top 50 in the bonus pool.
This is in addition to the prize money for the race in Abu Dhabi, where the first 25 men and women to finish will be eligible for a payday. You can see the breakdown in full below:
Abu Dhabi World Triathlon Championship Finals prize purse
1st place $30,000
2nd place $22,000
3rd place $16,000
4th place $12,000
5th place $9,800
6th place $8,000
7th place $6,400
8th place $5,200
9th place $4,100
10th place $3,500
Down to $1,000 for 25th place
World Triathlon Championship Series Rankings: Bonus Pool
1st place $80,000
2nd place $55,000
3rd place $37,000
4th place $25,000
5th place $19,000
6th place $17,000
7th place $15,500
8th place $14,200
9th place $13,300
10th place $12,400
Down to $2,700 for 50th place
Top image credit: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images