Vincent Luis says he will continue fighting for titles after falling short in the race for medals in the Olympic Games Triathlon at Tokyo 2020.
The 32-year-old Frenchman was tipped by many as the favourite for gold in the Japanese capital, including five-time iron-distance champion Laura Siddall, but he struggled to find his typical rhythm on the run, fading to 13th position, 80 seconds behind race winner Kristian Blummenfelt at the finish.
Luis started excellently, leading the field out of the water after a typically rapid opening leg, but setting the pace on the bike with a leading group of 10, which included Jonathan Brownlee.
Despite their efforts, the cycling power behind – driven by the Norwegian trio of Blummenfelt, Iden and Stornes in particular – could not be held at bay, and eventually a very large lead pack formed, meaning that it would all be decided on the run.
In recent years, Vincent has produced dominant displays across all formats of short-course racing, but his performance at Odaiba Marine Park was well below his hopes, particularly given his domination of the 2020 season.
It wasn’t enough – Luis
There will be some question marks over whether Luis was at his physical peak in Tokyo given his disappointing result, although the 2019 and 2020 World Champion insisted he had given it his all.
“I did my best with what I had today,” he wrote on Instagram. “It was far from sufficient but I fought all the way to the finish line.”
“Sport is hard sometimes but I’ll keep fighting. Congrats to all the athletes and especially the 3 on the podium.”
Mixed Relay bid awaits
Luis’ attentions will now turn to the inaugural Mixed Relay event on Saturday, where he and his French teammates will once again be amongst the favourites.
Part of a gold medal-winning team at the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships in 2019, Luis will be joined by Cassandre Beaugrand, Leonie Periault and one of Dorian Coninx or Léo Bergere on a very strong team.
Luis will hope to rediscover his medal-winning form alongside his compatriots, but the likes of Great Britain and the United States will offer tough opposition.