Photo: Triathlon New Zealand

By Kent Gray/
The prospect of delays and ultimately the reduction of the triathlon to a duathlon is real at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games, organising committee President Tony Estanguet has admitted.

“When we decided to have this competition in the Seine we knew it will be a big challenge but with the authorities, there is a big programme of investment and, when we talk about legacy, this project is fantastic.

“And we are still confident that the triathlon will be based in the Seine because we have contingency plans. We can postpone for rainy conditions. Because it’s programmed at the beginning of the Games we can wait for better conditions. So we are confident that it will be possible to use the Seine.”

The Guardian reports that the Surfrider Foundation Europe charity has warned of “alarming” bacteria levels in the Seine. It claimed that out of 14 samples taken at the Alexandre III Bridge over a six-month period, all but one showed poor water quality, the British newspaper said.

Estanguet says contingencies have already been worked up, and said athletes needed to be ready for the prospect of delays or even a racing a duathlon.

“[We can] change the date and postpone from one day to three days until it’s OK. And there is a final decision where we could not swim – it’s part of the rules of the International Federation,” Estanguet said.

“It’s what we want to avoid, of course.”

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