The countdown to the 2024 Olympic Games is gathering speed in the French capital with that eagerly-awaited Paris Test Event. And we have all bases covered in our event guide – including how to watch it all live on TV or live stream.
We have four days of absolutely stellar action, with potential Olympians and Paralympians gathering as part of absolutely stellar fields.
Thursday’s opener – the Elite Women race – did not disappoint as Britain’s Beth Potter outpointed France’s Cassandre Beaugrand to win a thriller in perfect conditions on an iconic course.
Friday produced another stellar performance from a British star as Alex Yee was simply sensational in destroying a high-class field of Elite Men.
The results this week will in many cases go a long way to determining who is selected up by their countries to race in the real thing next summer. So this is a dress rehearsal in every sense of the world.
What time do the Paris Test Event races start?
There are two days of action remaining in Paris with the Paratriathlon on Saturday and Mixed Relay on Sunday.
Saturday August 19: Paratriathlon races start at 0800 local time or Central Europe. That is 0700 in the UK and 0200 Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The start time on the West Coast is 2300 Friday PST.
Sunday August 20: Elite Mixed Relay starts at 0800 local time or Central Europe. That is 0700 in the UK and 0200 Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The start time on the West Coast is 2300 Saturday PST.
How can I watch the Paris Olympics Test Event TV and live stream?
You can sign up for World Triathlon’s ‘Triathlonlive.tv’ service to watch all the events live – wherever you are in the world.
The BBC is the UK’s Olympic broadcaster and has the rights through to 2032 to host triathlon events – check your local listings to find out if they have coverage on their main channels (eg BBC1) or behind the red button, on the BBC iPlayer or via the BBC website.
If you are watching in the United States, NBC has the rights to Olympic Games broadcasting so again check local listings for any coverage details.
Olympic triathlon distance: Breaking it down
The Elite individual races both take place over the Olympic triathlon distance, which is made up of the following disciplines:
- 1.5km Swim
- 40km Bike
- 10km Run
The Mixed Relay race sees teams of 4 athletes (2 men and 2 women) taking part, with each completing the following:
- 300m Swim
- 5.8km Bike
- 1.8km Run
The Para races take place over the usual Sprint Distance, which is:
- 750m swim
- 20km Bike
- 5km Run
If that doesn’t cover off everything you need to know, check out our full guide to triathlon distances.
Paris Test event Triathlon Course
The course in Paris should provide some epic viewing and a true test for the athletes in those Elite individual races.
The swim course (weather permitting after that recent high-profile blip) takes place in the Seine river, at the bottom of the Alexandre III bridge. This after a massive cleanup operation to make the water quality adequate for swimming. For the individual races athletes will enter the water from a pontoon and then complete two laps anti-clockwise. They then must climb some 36 steps to make it into T1.
The bike course (40km) consists of seven laps and it is mostly flat with some technical turns. It should make for spectacular TV viewing, passing iconic Parisian landmarks including the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Champs Elysees and the Orsay Museum.
After completing the bike course, athletes transition to the 10km run course – which consists of four laps of 2.5km each to cross the finish line located on the Alexandre III bridge.
If the water quality in the Seine is not acceptable, races will revert to Duathlon format.
The Olympic triathlon is making its sixth appearance on the biggest stage of all, with Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee the only multi-time gold medallist.
The mighty Jan Frodeno also has a gold medal to his name, and the German has since gone on to dominate over longer distances in recent years.
On the women’s side, Nicola Spirig is the most decorated female athlete with a London 2012 gold coupled with a silver medal in Rio 2016.
Olympic Triathlon Champions – Women
- Sydney 2000 – Brigette McMahon (SUI)
- Athens 2004 – Kate Allen (AUT)
- Beijing 2008 – Emma Snowsill (AUS)
- London 2012 – Nicola Spirig (SUI)
- Rio de Janeiro 2016 – Gwen Jorgensen (USA)
- Tokyo 2020* – Flora Duffy (BER)
Olympic Triathlon Champions – Men
- Sydney 2000 – Simon Whitfield (CAN)
- Athens 2004 – Hamish Carter (NZ)
- Beijing 2008 – Jan Frodeno (GER)
- London 2012 – Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
- Rio de Janeiro 2016 – Alistair Brownlee (GBR)
- Tokyo 2020* – Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR)
• Denotes race held in 2021 due to COVID pandemic
How many athletes qualify for the Olympic Games Triathlon?
There are various way to qualify – and different federations have different processes – but there will be a maximum field of 55 athletes for each of the Women’s and Men’s Individual Elite races in Paris in the summer of 2024.
The Qualification period runs from 27 May 2022 until 27 May 2024.
What is a good time for an Olympic distance triathlon?
A good question that a lot of triathlon newbies ask, but largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
The concept of British, European, Olympic and World records might be commonplace in other sports, not so for triathlon.
The nuances of each specific course and terrain mean that it is impossible to really set times against each other. If you don’t want to compare anything, it’s positions you need to look at.
That said, as a guide you can expect the men’s race in Paris to take approximately 1:45 – 1:50, with the women’s race around 10 minutes longer.
How to train for an Olympic distance triathlon
Every triathlon event takes a specific training and nutritional regime dedicated to the course, the climate and the distance.
If you’re new to the sport and just looking to get ready to be able to take on the challenge of an Olympic distance triathlon, you can chose any one of a number of different training plans. Check out our triathlon training section for more details.