show me:

Triathlon boss confident swim will go ahead at Games

3 minute read

Amid concerns about water quality in the River Seine, AusTriathlon chief executive Tim Harradine is confident the Olympic triathlon will go ahead as planned.

AusTriathlon wants its Olympians to be alert, rather than alarmed, about the River Seine water quality at the Paris Games.

Chief executive Tim Harradine also doubts the swim leg will be cancelled.

Earlier this month, the head of the Paris Games organising committee, Tony Estanguet, admitted to his concerns about poor weather raising pollution levels in the river.

The triathlon will be a showcase event at the Olympics, with postcard views intended from the swim in the Seine and the bike leg featuring the Champs-Elysees.

It would be a major PR setback if the triathlon became a bike-run duathlon because of water quality.

British team staff have been quoted as saying their triathletes will be "completely and utterly sanitised to within an inch of their lives" at the Games.

Harradine told AAP on Friday the Australian team would seek a balance between staying healthy and racing well.

"The key is that we want the athletes focused on having their best-possible race at the Olympics, not being unduly distracted and worrying about something else," Harradine said.

Harradine also noted it would take the sort of heavy rain that would also cause widespread problems at the Games for the swim leg not to go ahead.

"Triathlons are never the same twice. There were questions about the water quality before Tokyo and before Rio. These are not new discussions," he said.

"We have good confidence in the Paris organising committee. We've seen the measures they have in place and they are very thorough.

"Knowing what they're doing to ensure the water quality, and the extent of the water testing they will have in place, it would be really, really surprising if there's a change to the event format.

"But, regardless, our athletes and our team staff will be ready for whatever happens at the Games.

"I would also note that if the triathlon turns into a duathlon, it's going to be because of a weather event that's going to impact multiple events at the Olympics."

Australian triathlon's build-up to the Paris Games continues on Saturday at the World Cup round in Wollongong.

It will be the first time Australia has hosted a World Cup triathlon event since 2020.

Matt Hauser, so far the only confirmed member of Australia's Paris Olympics triathlon team, was the local headliner until he withdrew late on Friday night after a bout of food poisoning.

That opened things up for Paris contenders Jake Birtwhistle, Brandon Copeland, Luke Willan over the 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run event.

Jaz Hedgeland, Emma Jeffcoat and Charlotte McShane headline the local Australian female contingent.

What’s gambling really costing you?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit