Organizers of a triathlon event ahead of next year’s Paris Olympics said on Wednesday that conditions had been met for athletes to swim the River Seine in the coming days, after the previous attempt had to be cancelled. earlier this month due to poor water quality.
The latest tests show that the level of water quality has returned to acceptable standards, said Christophe Rosa, the deputy general delegate of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic delegation at Paris City Hall.
“We monitor water quality with a very robust process” that includes testing “almost hourly” through an automatic sampling system in addition to daily laboratory tests “to guarantee the most very conditions so that the athletes can compete in complete safety especially regarding their health. ,” he elaborated.
The event comes after the last-minute cancellation of a swimming competition to take place in the Seine at the start of the month. The heavy rains caused an overflow of untreated waste, degrading the water quality to the point where it was below the standards for the Open Water Swimming World Cup event to be held.
Games organizers say the waterway will be more ready by 2024 as Paris spends heavily on water management projects that officials say will make pollution less frequent. typhoon
Christophe Noël du Peyrat, chief of staff of the Paris regional authority, said that “this first competition on the Seine is an important step in the fight to make the Seine a swimming area.”
Water quality is improving when there is normal weather, he said, but “we still have a lot of work ahead for the year 2024 . . . to be able to deal with extraordinary weather as we know it at last.” in July and beginning of August. Rainfall levels reached four times the normal average, he stressed.
Additional infrastructure in the works includes a giant underground reservoir in Paris that will stock excess water during storms, so it does not need to be poured untreated into the river and can be treated later.
From Thursday to Sunday, triathletes and para-triathletes race through the heart of Paris, swimming under the stunning 19th century Alexandre III bridge and its golden statues. They will cycle and run through some of the capital’s most famous neighborhoods, including the Champs-Elysees avenue and next to the Orsay Museum.
The individual men’s and women’s races are over Olympic standard distances: 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) swim, 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) bike and 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) run.
Brigitte Légaré, sports manager of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, said the event was also an important test for logistics before the Olympics. This is an occasion to ensure that the safety of the Seine, time system, security measures and control of the movement of spectators are available, he said.
From 300 to 400 officers will be deployed, according to the Paris police prefecture.
Fans can attend the event for free – about 800 people have received an invitation that allows them the start and finish area while others line up during the race.