Frederic Funk openly criticizes PTO ranking again: “Hard for a 70.3 athlete to reach top 20”

Frederic Funk openly criticizes PTO ranking again: "Hard for a 70.3 athlete to reach top 20". (Photo: Ingo Kutsche)

Since the rise of the Professional Triathletes Organisation pro athletes didn’t only get a World Tour, they can also earn extra bonuses by finishing in a top position within the PTO World Ranking, which is a ranking system based on points that athletes can earn for their best races. For that World Ranking, an athlete receives a ten percent bonus on top of their best Long Distance race, while Middle Distance athletes don’t get such a bonus. That, while the results of the two distances are compared with one another. The German Frederic Funk – who openly criticized the PTO before – doesn’t agree with this system and says it even forces young athletes to make the transfer to Long-Distance racing too early on in their career. He was alarmed by the amount of points the pro men received for Ironman Hawaii.

A side note that we have to make, is that the PTO World Tour – on the other hand – is thus far focused on the Middle Distance athletes like Funk himself, but it’s the points’ allocation that Funk doesn’t agree with. “I’m not saying that these points are unfair. It’s definitely what this amazing race deserves. But add another ten percent on this?”, he refers to Ironman Hawaii. “There is no way you would reach 120 points for a world-class 70.3 race. SO basically a Long Distance is even plus 15-20 percent.”

“It’s a little depressing as it makes it very hard for me as a 70.3 athlete to reach the top 20 and therefor the bigger prize purse, and it pressures young athletes to step to Long Distance too early. Quit the +10 percent or make an extra 70.3 ranking”, Funk recommends.

It’s quite bold for Funk to criticize the ranking again, because the PTO has mentioned before to advise athletes not to do so.