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Paris 2024: Water Quality in the Seine Compromises the Olympic Triathlon

With the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Fast approaching, the city's challenge to ensure that triathlon competitions can take place in the waters of the iconic Seine River.

Despite an ambitious cleaning plan valued at 1,4 billion euros, Recent water quality studies indicate that even the standards necessary for swimming are not met.

On June 16, the Paris Region office and the mayor's office revealed that levels of fecal bacteria, including E. coli, exceeded acceptable limits in several locations along the Seine.

These findings have generated concern about athlete safety and the viability of the competitions scheduled for the end of July and beginning of August.

Marc Guillaume, prefect of the Île-de-France region, expressed optimism about improving conditions of the river thanks to the decrease in flow after recent heavy rains.

I affirm that typical “summer flow” expected in July which could improve water quality. However, he acknowledged that, to date, conditions are not suitable for swimming.

Faced with the possibility that the Seine will not meet the standards in time, the organizers of Paris 2024 have drawn up contingency plans, including the modification of triathlon events to a duathlon format, if necessary.

This adaptation would eliminate the swim, replacing it with a second race, as has happened in previous events due to similar problems.

Nice as a viable alternative

Given the uncertainty in Paris, Nice emerges as a strong candidate to host these competitions.

With extensive experience in triathlon events and a first-class tourism and sports infrastructure, the city offers an attractive and safe alternative.

Furthermore, Nice has already proven to be a competent venue for international triathlon events, adding credibility to its candidacy as plan B.

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