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Olympic Games Triathlon: The end of an era with two LEGENDS of the sport missing for the first time since 2004

Javier Gomez and Mario Mola, who hold eight World Triathlon titles between them, will not race at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

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After playing pivotal roles in short-course triathlon for almost two decades, both Javier Gomez and Mario Mola will watch from the sidelines at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, after the Spanish team was announced this week.

The pair, who made a combined total of six Olympic appearances between them, led a golden era of triathlon in Spain which will go down in history, and resulted in eight World Triathlon titles.

Gomez, who shifted focus to long-distance triathlon after the Tokyo Olympics, and Mola, who hasn’t raced on the WTCS since July 2023, now pass on the baton to the next generation.

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What could have been for Gomez and Mola

In 2008, Gomez made his Olympic debut in Beijing, finishing fourth in a sprint finish for the podium. Four years later, he secured silver behind Alistair Brownlee in London, as Mola made his Olympic debut in 19th.

Two short course stars, Javier Gomez and Mario Mola, stand side-by-side.
Javier Gomez and Mario Mola made a combined six appearances at the Olympic Games.

Over the next 12 years, the duo would win six world titles between them, but could never quite make it happen at the Olympic Games. In 2016, Gomez was ruled out after a crash in training, with Mola finishing in 8th.

In Tokyo, after the race was postponed for one year due to COVID-19, Gomez rounded off his Olympic career with a 25th-place finish while Mola secured a second consecutive top-10 placing.

Despite a silver medal in London for Gomez, hindsight will always bring with it a feeling of what could have been for both these Spanish greats. Tipped by so many to win gold during their dominant years on the WTCS circuit, the perfect race just never materialised on the biggest stage in the sport.

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The next generation

In Paris in 2024, Spain will be well represented by a squad of five athletes, who will also contest the Mixed Team Relay on August 5 and look to improve upon their 10th-place finish in Tokyo.

After leapfrogging Hungarian Mark Devay on the last day of the qualification window at WTCS Cagliari to secure three spots for Spain, Alberto Gonzalez Garcia has been rewarded with an Olympic berth.

Vincent Luis, Antonio Serrat Seoane, Roberto Sanchez Mantecon - WTCS Bermuda 2022

Joining him on the men’s side are more established names Roberto Sanchez Mantecon and Antonio Serrat Seoane, who finished the Olympic Qualification period ranked #12 and #23 respectively.

On the women’s team Spain has Miriam Casillas Garcia and Anna Godoy Contreras, with Garcia makes her second Olympic Games appearance and Contreras being handed her debut.

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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