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Paris Olympics: What to know and who to watch during the triathlon competition

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A roadmap to follow for the triathlon competition at the Paris Games:

Athletes to Watch

—Alex Yee, Britain: The silver medalist in Tokyo three years ago won a test event on the Paris course last August. He is a former 10,000-meter runner on the track.

—Léo Bergere, France: No. 1 in Olympic men’s qualifying rankings.

—Dorian Coninx, France: The 2023 world champion sustained a broken wrist and elbow but said “anything is possible” once the race starts.

—Kristian Blummenfelt, Norway: The reigning Olympic champion.

—Beth Potter, Britain: In a stellar 2023, the Glasgow native won the Olympic test event and was crowned world champion.

—Flora Duffy, Bermuda: The reigning Olympic champion had contemplated retirement because of a knee injury.

—Taylor Spivey, United States: The 33-year-old Californian will make her Olympic debut.

—Taylor Knibb, United States: She has won the Ironman 70.3 world championships in back-to-back seasons. She’s been racing triathlons since she was 11. Her mother is a former Ironman competitor.

Storylines to Follow

— How clean is the water? Specifically, a stretch of the River Seine in sight of the Eiffel Tower where French President Emmanuel Macron is due to take a dip. Triathlon for men and women starts with a 1.5-kilometer (0.93-mile) swim in the river before a 40k (24.9-mile) cycle and 10k (6.2-mile) run. Cleaning up the long-polluted Seine is a key legacy target of these Olympics. An open water swimming race last August was canceled over water concerns after heavy rain, but triathlon test events did happen two weeks later.

—Don’t block the swimmers with a boat. Triathlon made headlines at the Tokyo Olympics for a chaotic false start in the men’s race. A boat for camera operators strayed across swimmers trying to dive in. Some athletes swam 200 meters before hearing the call for a restart.

—A picture postcard route of races scheduled from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Swimmers dive in by the Alexandre III bridge and complete two loops back to it. They cycle and run a total of 11 times past the Grand Palais, along the Champs Élysées to pass either side of the Arc de Triomphe. An extra loop for cycling goes south of the river past the parliament building, the Assemblée Nationale, and the Musée d’Orsay.

Key Dates

The men’s event is July 30, the women’s event is July 31, and the mixed team relay is Aug. 5.

Reigning Champions

—Men: Kristian Blummenfelt, Norway.

—Women: Flora Duffy, Bermuda.

—Mixed team: Britain

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AP Summer Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games

By The Associated Press

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