The rankings, produced in collaboration with Sports4Cast, score the athletes by their performances in Super League and ITU events to not only see who is the best triathlete, but also the best swimmer, biker and runner.
Athletes that have raced at least 2 SLT events (either Championship Series or AGT) in the last 18 months appear in our rankings.
The algorithm looks at performances by athletes in both Super League and ITU events. The crucial metric for performance is finishing position – it’s all about who you beat.
A new athlete entering into the sport will improve their ranking score more if they beat top ranked athletes in a big World Series race than if they finish mid-pack in a local ITU event. Likewise, ranking scores will decrease if an athlete is consistently finishing behind lower ranked athletes.
We look at finishing positions across swim, bike and run to rank the athletes by discipline as well.
For all disciplines – swim, bike, run and overall – we show the athlete rank, that is the position they occupy in each ranking system. For the swim, bike and run disciplines we translate their ranking score into a pace or speed, in order to make the ranking more relatable and comparable to fans. However, in the overall ranking we have left their raw score as there is no direct pace or speed comparison.
We produce two sets of rankings, SLT and Overall:
- The SLT rankings looks at SLT races, relay races and Sprint ITU races in order to create a ranking system that best reflects the short and fast racing conditions that are unique to Super League. Super League races receive a little more weighting in this system to account for the reduced number of SLT races there are per year.
- The Overall rankings look at everything – SLT, relay, Sprint and Standard distance triathlon to see who is the best overall athlete across all distances. Each type of race is weighted equally.
Triathlon is a race, especially in short course, so we feel this system of looking at pure finishing position is the fairest to athletes in all situations. For example athletes may ‘let up’ in the run when they know a race is won, and therefore looking at pure finishing time may not be the best solution.
Athletes race to the finish line (usually at the end of the run), but not necessarily the swim and bike finish, or through transition. Therefore using finishing position to rank athletes in swim, bike and transition (and to some extent, the run) may not be optimal. However, when looking at the rankings, testing the system, and seeing who ended up on top in each discipline, we found that it seemed to yield sensible results, so felt it was an accurate enough assessment of ability.