Olympics-'Just put me in there': Aussie triathlete shrugs off Seine concerns

FILE PHOTO: Olympics - Paris 2024 holds triathlon test event for the Olympics - Paris, France - August 17, 2023 The Hotel des Invalides is seen as athletes compete in the elite women triathlon test event REUTERS/Stephanie Lecocq/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - There have been concerns that the Olympic triathlon might be postponed or even reduced to a duathlon due to water quality problems in the Seine but Australia's Matt Hauser says he will gladly take the plunge at the Paris Games.

Paris has been working on cleaning up the river so that people can swim in it again, as was the case during the 1900 Olympics.

But a sewer problem last summer led to the cancellation of a pre-Olympics swimming event along with the swimming legs of triathlon and Para triathlon events over water quality concerns.

Hauser, who won a triathlon bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, said the Seine held no fears for him.

"To be honest, for me, I’d swim in anything to try and get a medal," the 26-year-old said in comments published by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on Wednesday.

"Give me a swig of Coca-Cola and some Gastro-Stop tablets and just put me in there.

"Obviously, the race organisers and World Triathlon have our safety and interest at heart, and they’ll be doing all they can to ensure that that is the case.

"But I’ve got no doubt that no one would hesitate to jump into the water."

Several French officials have promised to take a dip in the Seine before the Olympics to show the water is safe, including President Emmanuel Macron and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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