The reigning Olympic champion has experienced a rollercoaster year with illness hampering his early season, an upset loss to Max Neumann in Ibiza and then another to Jan Frodeno in Milwaukee, before finally winning his first PTO Tour race in Singapore. But now his sights are set firmly on Paris next summer, and the defence of that Olympic title.
After finishing the 2023 WTCS at #9 in the final standings, the Norwegian superstar now has less than a year to sharpen his short-course tools for the big dance in France as he bids to become only the second athlete in history to successfully defend an Olympic title.
“Super League is all about my weaknesses”
In a wide-ranging interview with Bob Babbitt ahead of the race in Malibu, Blummenfelt explained why Super League Triathlon is so important to that Paris bid.
“Trying to come back to short distance, [Super League Triathlon] is the series you want to be a part of. If I have ambitions in Paris, Super League is all about my weaknesses. The swim is crucial, so are the transitions, the swim start, the technical aspect of the bike and these are all not my strengths.
Super League keeps ‘Big Blu’ on his toes
“Here, you need that top end and you need to be a lot sharper, so to put myself in a race like this is challenging and it keeps me on my toes. You want to have a race where you believe you have a chance to win, like a 20% chance, because if you have a 90% chance you are always on the defensive side.”
Last time out in Toulouse, Blummenfelt – who is representing the Team Santara Tech Eagles – finished almost a minute behind race winner Léo Bergere. This weekend in Malibu, the Bergen native will require a near-perfect race to chase a first podium of the year.