After originally postponing the Open Water Swimming World Cup that was scheduled for this weekend, the whole competition has been canceled.
Originally, a training session scheduled for Friday was canceled and the women’s 10km race scheduled for Saturday was pushed back until Sunday, the same day of the men’s 10km race. Now, both races have been canceled.
World Aquatics came out with a statement saying, “World Aquatics is disappointed that water quality in the Seine has resulted in the cancellation of the World Aquatics Open Water Swimming World Cup, but the health of our athletes must always be our top priority. World Aquatics understands that further infrastructure projects will be completed to significantly improve water quality in the Seine in the lead-up to next year’s Olympic Games. World Aquatics remains excited at the prospect of city-centre Olympic racing for the world’s best open water swimmers next summer. Based on this weekend, it is clear that further work is needed with Paris 2024 and local authorities to ensure robust contingency plans are in place for next year.”
One of the reasons cited for the poor water quality was due to “recent above-average rainfall in Paris.” According to The Weather Channel, Paris has experiences a total of 4.95 inches (12.57 cm) of rainfall in the last seven days. On average, July and August usually feature just over two inches of rain per month.
The event was scheduled as a test run before next summer’s 2024 Paris Olympics, where both the open water swimmers as well as tri-athletes will compete in the river Seine, which runs through the heart of Paris, providing a view of the Eiffel Tower mid-race.
The World Cup stop in Paris was the fourth of five stops. Previous stops included Soma Bay, Egypt, Golfo Aranci, Italy, and Setubal, Portugal. The final competition of the World Cup will take place from December 1-2 in Eilat, Israel.
The 2024 Paris Olympics are set to begin less than a year from now. The women’s open water 10km race is scheduled for August 8th while the men’s 10 km race is scheduled for August 9th. The men’s individual triathlon is scheduled for July 30th and the women’s is scheduled for July 31st.
Swimming in the Seine River has been banned since 1932. The clean-up plan for the river has been underway since Paris won the Olympic bid back in 2017, costing 1.5 billion USD (1.4 Euros).