Deep rolldown for PTO wildcards and here’s why!

Jodie Stimpson as lowest ranked wildcard athletes (Picture: PTO Insta)

Last week the PTO announced which athletes received some coveted wildcards for the PTO T100 in Miami, which takes place upcoming Saturday. Although: the wildcards turned out not to be so coveted at all among a large part of some of the best international female athletes, as many of them declined and have no interest in racing in Miami.

Among the men, the wildcards went to Youri Keulen, Menno Koolhaas and Gregory Barnaby. This is entirely in line with expectations, as they are eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth respectively on the PTO Rankings, making them the first athletes without a contract to qualify for a wildcard. Among the women, however, things are completely different. There, Sara Perez Sala (27th), Haley Chura (35th), Lucy Buckingham (40th), Jackie Hering (43rd), Kaidi Kivioja (48th), Diede Diederiks (49th), Marta Sanchez (82nd) and Jodie Stimpson (outside the top 100) receive wildcards.

The reason for this remarkably deep rolldown, is that many athletes fear they have no chance of finishing in a good position. “If you don’t finish inside the top five, you lose more money than it brings you. And in addition, if you don’t finish within the top ten in a PTO race, it’s not going to give you any media exposure either. Then there’s no point in competing and I’d rather choose another race,” it sounds almost unanimous among the women who said no to their wildcard.

Athletes who start with a wildcard will receive $1,000 in travel expenses, $2,500 in guaranteed prize money and in addition, accommodation will be provided.