The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has confirmed the prize money for the 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series, with the total prize pool surpassing two million dollars.
With an overall increase of 15 per cent, prize money from the eight series events and the year-end bonus pool will total $2.06-million (all funds USD).
"Across the board we are seeing tremendous growth in our premier series – from spectators to participants to sponsors to broadcast partners and now with prize money for our elite athletes," said Marisol Casado, ITU President and IOC Member. "On the back this growth, 2012 is poised to be the greatest and most exciting triathlon season to date."
The Grand Final in Auckland will feature a $270,000 prize purse while the prize money for every other series event will be $170,000. Also, each race and the Grand Final will also now award prize money down to the 20th place, whereas in 2011 only athletes who finished in the top-15 claimed prize money.
Athletes will vie for an additional $600,000 in the year-end bonus pool which pays the top 30 ranked women and men – up from top-20 – at season’s end. This figure is up from $500,000 in the 2011 season. Overall, it means that there is an increase of $260,000 to the overall pool, up from $1.8-million to $2.06-million. Finishing the year atop the series rankings will not only earn an athlete the coveted title of "ITU World Champion" but also net $60,000 of the bonus pool.
The 2012 ITU World Triathlon Series kicks off on 14-15 April in Sydney, Australia. With eight events in eight different countries, the 2012 ITU World Champions will be crowned at the Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand on 20-22 October.
The ITU World Triathlon Series was launched in 2009, expanding the former single-day World Championship race. Points are accrued throughout the season and athletes who win the overall series are crowned the ITU World Champions.