After struggling through a tumultous season in 2021, which included a disappointing 13th at the Tokyo Olympics, there were glimpses of the old Vincent Luis in the latter half of 2022.
Dual focus – Olympics and Hawaii
After winning back to back world titles in 2019 and 2020, Luis spoke to us here at TRI247 and shared that the journey back to the top of the sport has not been easy after injuries dented his chances of finishing on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics.
He said: “I won the world title two times in 2019 and 2020, then in 2021 I was not really myself at all. In 2022, I finally began to start to enjoy what I was doing again.”
The Frenchman, who has competed at the London, Rio and Tokyo Olympics, stated that whilst winning a world title this year is a big goal, the most important objective is Olympic qualification.
“The world title is a big focus but the main one is the Olympics right now. I think I am the second French athlete in the rankings behind Leo [Bergere] so it could be enough guarantee me a spot at the Olympics”.
After recounting his world title wins he admitted that “being a world champion is just amazing”, the 33-year-old has always been certain of what success in the world of triathlon looks like to him.
“I have always said that triathlon for me is about winning two things, the Olympics and Hawaii, everything else just sits on the bookshelf. I really wake up everyday to be the Olympic champion.”
Paris hosting is a “really big opportunity”
If Luis was to take the tape at the next Olympic Games, it would be with the added bonus of doing so in front of a home crowd, an experience only enjoyed by one man in the sport of triathlon so far, Alistair Brownlee.
For the Frenchman, the opportunity to race in front of his people, at what might be his final major short course race, is one that he looks forward to immensely.
“If I race it will be my fourth Olympics. Some people race at the Olympics four or five times and they never get the chance to race in front of a home crowd on home soil”.
With the popularity of the sport in France, displayed throughout the year at smaller events such as the French Grand Prix and European Cups, so tremendous, Luis believes it will be a race for the ages.
“I know the public will be very supportive. I never get the chance to race in front of my friends because as a triathlete I am always travelling the world to race, and we don’t really have very big races in France, so this is a really big opportunity that I am really looking forward to”.
From August 17-20, Luis and other Olympic hopefuls will race the Paris Test event, with the hope of meeting the qualifying criteria set out by their national governing bodies, on the course centred around the Pont Alexandre III bridge overlooking the River Seine.