All this is fine. But the result is that the cool championship events are not USA Triathlon championships, they are Ironman championships -- Kona, Mt. Tremblant for 1/2 Ironman, and HyVee for Olympic distance. Those championship events are exclusive. Try as I do, I may one day qualify for 1/2 Ironman (not sure, but I might just have squeaked in at Timberman last month); I may one day qualify (but have not recently qualified) for HyVee; but short of keeping my speed until age 60 I will never qualify for Kona. My analogy: USA Triathlon is selling Hondas and World Triathlon Corp. is selling Mercedes.
I wrote to USA Triathlon to point this out. Here is Michelle's response:
Only a short list of special and regional qualifiers qualify athletes at 33%. All other races are 10%. Read the qualification page for accurate information. USAT and Ironman are two different types of organizations with two different purposes. USA Triathlon is the National Governing Body of the sport, a non-profit, with a major purpose of growing the sport. The World Triathlon Corporation, Ironman, is a corporation whose purpose is to make millions of dollars off triathletes each year. These facts are easily found on Google. If you would like more information do your homework and get back to me with additional questions.
National Events Coordinator
My best guess is that Michelle has been fielding complaints about USAT non-stop and is sick of it. But, really?