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Two-time Olympian “disappointed” with planned Paris course for 2024 Olympic Games

Marten Van Riel shares his thoughts about Paris, Taupo and his ambitions for 2024.

Staff Reporter
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Having competed at two Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo in addition to a number of other iconic events, Marten Van Riel knows a thing or two about big city triathlon races.

So when the course was announced for the triathlon events at this year’s Olympic Games in one of the world’s most iconic cities, the Belgian shared in a recent YouTube video that he had found himself a little underwhelmed.

Despite his disappointment, the 31-year-old is focused on the task at hand, with previous fourth and sixth place performances at the Games leaving little guesswork when attempting to predict his ambitions for the summer.

“There’s nothing else I can do”

Having spent his career advocating for more interesting bike courses on the short course scene, Van Riel once again found his requests falling on deaf ears when it came to the Olympic Games.

WTCS Championship Finals Edmonton 2021 - final WTCS podium for the season, Kristian Blummenfelt, Marten Van Riel, Alex Yee

“To be honest I am disappointed with the course they have given us in Paris. Something I have always been advocating for with World Triathlon is that they need more interesting courses.

“An Olympic distance race is quite boring to watch to be honest, but now there’s nothing else I can do apart from giving it my all.” 

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A new chapter in 2024

Having tried his hand, to great success, at middle distance racing over the past couple of years, Van Riel ended the year with back-to-back IRONMAN 70.3 wins in Fortaleza and Bahrain.

Marten Van Riel wins IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai 2022
Marten Van Riel wins IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai 2022 (Photo Credit: James Mitchell / IRONMAN)

“Obviously I am still gunning for a medal in Paris, […], these races were more like in-between goals to have a really good winter and lay the foundations for an amazing 2024.

“I hope to top the podium in Taupo next year and I hope to get some starts in PTO races and I want to make it really hard for the other guys there as well.”

After a rollercoaster couple of years with injury, the Belgian plans to be at his best in Paris before conquering the middle distance by getting back to where he was three years ago.

“I want to race the best and see where I can stack up. If I can get back to my level in 2021 and hopefully surpass that, that will be a great end to these two bad years and will let me start a new chapter of my career in 2024.” 

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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