Olympic triathlon swimming leg might be cancelled over Seine water high quality

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Olympic triathlon swimming leg might be cancelled over Seine water high quality

The president of the Paris 2024 Olympics has admitted that the triathlon competitors might be delayed, or the swimming leg even cancelled, if hostile climate circumstances affect on water high quality within the River Seine this summer time.

Tony Estanguet confused that he was proud that greater than a billion Euros had been invested in a bid to offer protected swimming within the Seine for the primary time in a century. Nevertheless he conceded that the prospect of heavy rain elevating E Coli ranges was certainly one of his “greatest challenges” for the Video games, which begin in simply over 100 days.

Estanguet’s feedback got here on a day the place the Surfrider Basis Europe charity warned of “alarming” micro organism ranges within the Seine. It claimed that out of 14 samples taken on the Alexandre III Bridge over a six-month interval, all however one confirmed poor water high quality.

Nevertheless, Ville de Paris and the Olympic organisers insist that the samples highlighted on this examine have been taken earlier than the commissioning of main works aimed particularly at enhancing the standard of the water within the Seine, such because the Austerlitz basin, or the completion of the connection of 100% of barges to the sewerage system which they are saying will likely be accomplished inside a number of weeks.

The triathlon is certainly one of Staff GB’s strongest occasions, with the world champion Beth Potter and the Tokyo 2020 gold and silver medallist Alex Yee having received the ladies’s and males’s check occasion in Paris in 2023. Nevertheless the combined relay triathlon check occasion, the next day, needed to be switched to a duathlon format with the swimming leg deserted after the water high quality within the Seine acquired worse.

Requested on the SportAccord convention in Birmingham particularly concerning the potential risk of E coli micro organism, Estanguet mentioned: “We’re working onerous on it; you realize it’s one of many larger challenges.

“Once we determined to have this competitors within the Seine we knew it will likely be a giant problem however with the authorities, there’s a massive programme of funding and, after we discuss legacy, this challenge is implausible.

“And we’re nonetheless assured that the triathlon will likely be primarily based within the Seine as a result of we now have contingency plans. We will postpone for wet circumstances. As a result of it’s programmed firstly of the Video games we are able to look ahead to higher circumstances. So we’re assured that it will likely be attainable to make use of the Seine.”

Nevertheless Estanguet, who was a three-times Olympic canoeing champion, admitted there was no various location if Paris was hit with significantly heavy rainfall. “We modify the date and postpone from at some point to 3 days till it’s OK,” he mentioned. “And there’s a closing resolution the place we couldn’t swim – it’s a part of the foundations of the Worldwide Federation. It’s what we need to keep away from, in fact.

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“However there’s a danger. There’s all the time a danger. I used to be an athlete. I attended World Championships that have been postponed due to floods. If you find yourself in a sport the place you depend on the pure circumstances, you need to adapt. It’s a part of the flexibleness in my sport.”

Estanguet additionally mentioned he was assured that having 45,000 cops on obligation and a particular safety cordon would enable a spectacular opening ceremony on the Seine to go forward regardless of safety issues.

“You understand, we began this challenge on the finish of 2015, starting of 2016, simply after the huge assaults we had in France,” he mentioned. “At the moment, the authorities determined to defend what’s essential in France and the truth that it’s not as a result of we now have been attacked that we should always cease with gathering individuals, defending liberty and the values essential for France.”


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