World Triathlon staged its Congress prior to the Championship Finals in Pontevedra ©World Triathlon

The World Triathlon Congress accepted a motion here which could allow incumbent Marisol Casado to stay on for an additional six months at the end of her term next year to assist the "transitional period" to the successor.

It was stressed in the resolution from the Executive Board this would be without cost to World Triathlon because Casado would perform the role without compensation during this period, and aimed at maximising the sport's chances of retaining representation within the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Casado became only the second President of World Triathlon, formerly the International Triathlon Union, in 2008 and two years later was elected as an IOC member.

Most recently, she beat Denmark's Mads Freund to secure a fourth term as President in 2020.

A 12-year term limit was introduced in 2016, and the next Presidential election is due to be held next year.

The resolution suggested "if a new President is elected, the outgoing President shall be granted the President of World Triathlon for a transitional period of six months immediately after the 2024 elections, without voting rights in the Executive Board", although this would "not affect the Constitutional role of the new President".

It was explained to delegates of the Executive Board that the idea was for the previous President to "support and advise" their successor.

Casado would lose her IOC membership when she steps down as World Triathlon President, so it is hoped the resolution "will safeguard World Triathlon's interest in the International Olympic Committee, the rest of the Olympic Movement, and other international bodies where she holds a mandate".

The resolution was passed by 59 votes to eight.

Marisol Casado has served as an IOC member since 2010, but would lose the position when she steps down as World Triathlon President ©Getty Images
Marisol Casado has served as an IOC member since 2010, but would lose the position when she steps down as World Triathlon President ©Getty Images

The Executive Board plans to draft a Constitutional amendment for the six-month transitional period to be in place in future for approval at next year's Congress.

During her report to the Congress at the Carlos I Silgar Hotel in Sanxenxo, close to Pontevedra which is hosting the World Triathlon Championship Finals, Casado said the sport continues to "thrive around the world", and shared some of her highlights.

She reported she was "positive and optimistic" about World Triathlon's financial situation emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic

Casado reflected on World Triathlon's events held this year, describing the Paris 2024 test as a "hugely valuable run-through", and claimed the governing body is "the leader that sets the standards and the rules for other organisations" in the field of education.

On the Executive Board's resolution, Casado explained she hoped the six-month transitional period would make the transfer of power easier.

"As I approach my final year as President of World Triathlon, I of course want to ensure that all this success and these plans are able to continue under my successor, and that they understand and share the importance of maintaining and building up what we have started," the Spanish official said.

"Of paramount importance to our sport is a strong position within the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

"That is why I am presenting a resolution that will help smooth the transition to a new President to ensure that my successor is in the best possible position to continue our excellent relationship, particularly with the International Olympic Committee, to continue the work that our late friend Les McDonald [her predecessor] and I have pioneered, and to ensure a strong culture of equality in our sport continues - not just to be represented but to show the way for other International Federations that look up to and admire our incredible, progressive and dynamic structure and culture."

World Triathlon President Marisol Casado claimed she wants
World Triathlon President Marisol Casado claimed she wants "to ensure that all this success and these plans are able to continue under my successor" ©World Triathlon

Landmarks outlined to the Congress included an overhaul of the World Triathlon digital platforms, inauguration of a new office in Lausanne and membership of the United Nations Climate Neutral Now programme.

The World Triathlon Congress admitted a new member from Bulgaria with support of the National Olympic Committee by 66 votes to four.

Reports were also heard from organisers of next year's World Triathlon Championship Finals in Málaga and the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, the latter insisting they had "learned a lot" from test events in the River Seine to ensure all athletes can use it at next year's Games, after pollution levels were deemed too high for the mixed relay and Para triathlon competition.

World Triathlon's Committees, Commission and Arbitration Tribunal all presented reports, and the Executive Board report received unanimous approval.

The Congress was held before the start of the World Triathlon Championship Finals tomorrow.