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Just how important is WTCS Abu Dhabi when it comes to peaking for Paris 2024?

Mark Allen looks at the big picture and Paris 2024

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The road to the Olympic Games Triathlon at Paris 2024 really starts to hot up this weekend with WTCS Abu Dhabi, so it is time to look at the big questions facing athletes who are looking to peak just at the right time for that one big dance.

How important is WTCS Abu Dhabi this weekend? Will it reveal anything unexpected? And if it does, what will be made of it? These are all questions that go beyond the electrifying competition which is going to take place among the top Olympic hopefuls.

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Insight over results

You see, what’s more important than who wins and who doesn’t is what the athletes themselves learn from it. Each one has an idea of where they are in their fitness curve, and how that might play out against everyone else.

If it’s on track, then stay the course and keep building. If anyone, especially any of the favourites, don’t factor in at the front, it might mean a quick overhaul is needed in their training and approach.

There is time for that – while Paris looms, it is still about 140 days out. Think of the amount of work you could put in over a 140-day span! No, a lousy race in Abu Dhabi will just be a point of clarity paired with an opportunity to set things back in the right direction. And with the bulk of athletes coming off winter training, there is a strong likelihood that some of the big names will race below outside expectations.

My guess is that most of the real favourites to medal in Paris could be less impressive now than they will be in the summer. And this is another piece to look at under the microscope. It’s nearly impossible to be in peak shape in early March and hold that through the end of July. Even if you take a break between, it’s extremely difficult to sustain top form for that long. Yes, it is the Olympics, and surprises do happen. But a body is a body!

Yokohama the acid test

Looking down the road, the story will be different when Yokohama rolls around. With just over two months between that race and Paris, no major changes can be made by those who are still off track. And if desperation kicks in and someone does a complete revamp, the chance of a huge backfire far outweighs the chances of an elevator rise to the top.

The flipside is that being is great form in early May is ideal timing. It gives just the right stretch of time to put the finishing touches on fitness after Yokohama before lining up on the pontoon in the Seine!

Mark Allen
Written by
Mark Allen
Mark Allen has to be in any conversation about the greatest triathlete of all time. A six-time IRONMAN World Champion, he won every other title that mattered in the sport and dominated like few others
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