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Paris Olympics organizers unveil backup plans for triathlon and marathon swimming in Seine

Paris Olympics organizers unveil backup plans for triathlon and marathon swimming in Seine

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Paris Olympics organizers unveil backup plans for triathlon and marathon swimming in Seine

The organizing committee for the Paris Olympics has unveiled backup plans for open-water events if the Seine River is deemed unsuitable for swimming.

Triathlon and marathon swimming events are scheduled to take place in the famed river running through Paris, but unsafe levels of E. coli have been detected in recent weeks, raising questions about whether the events could go ahead as planned.

Organizers on Friday confirmed they have backup plans: the triathlon and marathon which are scheduled to take place near the Alexander III bridge between July 30 and Aug. 5, could be postponed by a few days if conditions are unsafe.

“The potential for unseasonal weather events requires us to be cautious,” a statement from the organizers said.

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In a worst-case scenario, if heavy rain affects the Seine’s flow and increases bacteria levels, the triathlon could be changed to a duathlon, without the swimming portion.

The marathon swimming competition could be relocated to the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium in the greater Paris region, which already hosts rowing and canoeing competitions and can accommodate up to 15,000 spectators, organizers said.

However, they expressed confidence in the Seine’s water quality, noting improvements in recent days.

The latest reports on the Seine’s water quality published by Paris city hall attributed the significant improvement in bacteria levels to the sunnier weather and warmer temperature in the French capital last week.

“We have observed in the past week that results would have enabled events to be held in the Seine on seven out of nine days,” Paris 2024 organizers said.

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Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

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Rakitic joins Hajduk Split after leaving Al-Shabab

Former Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is joining Hajduk Split after Saudi Pro League club Al-Shabab terminated his contract by mutual consent following a six-month spell.

The 36-year-old scored once in eight games after joining Al-Shabab in January 2024 as they finished eighth on 52 points.

“The club management agreed with the Croatian player Ivan Rakitic to terminate the contractual relationship between the two parties by mutual consent,” the Saudi club posted on the X social media platform.

Hajduk Split on Sunday announced the signing of the former Barcelona and Sevilla midfielder for one season with the option of an extra year in what will be his first campaign in Croatia.

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Rakitic, who was born in Switzerland, played 106 games for Croatia, scoring 15 goals, and helped the country reach the World Cup final in 2018. 

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Croatia’s Vida retires from international football

Croatia’s Vida retires from international football

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Croatia's Vida retires from international football

Croatia defender Domagoj Vida has retired from international soccer after 14 years in the national team, the Croatian Football Federation said on Sunday.

Vida, 35, made his international debut in May 2010 and has played 105 matches for Croatia. He was part of the Croatia side that reached the final of World Cup 2018 and finished third in World Cup 2022.

“It is an honour to wear the most beautiful jersey in the world once in your career,” Vida said in a statement.

“And when you do it 105 times, you play in seven major competitions … then you can just be infinitely grateful for such a privilege.”

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Former Bayer Leverkusen and Besiktas player Vida currently plays for Greek top-flight club AEK Athens. 

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Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

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Canada defender Collins to miss Paris 2024 soccer tournament through injury

Canada defender Sydney Collins will miss the Paris 2024 women’s soccer tournament after fracturing her left leg during a training game in her first match back after suffering a similar injury to her right leg earlier this year, Team Canada said on Saturday.

Gabrielle Carle will replace Collins in Canada’s Olympic squad, while Desiree Scott will take Carle’s spot as an alternate for the Tokyo 2020 gold medallists, it said.

Collins sustained the injury on Thursday during a closed-door training match against Nigeria, her first since fracturing her right leg in February.

“Our hearts go out to Sydney during this difficult time. She has worked incredibly hard to return in time for Paris 2024, and while this is a setback, we know she will come back stronger,” said women’s national team head coach Bev Priestman.

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“She will be with us in spirit every step of the way.

“With the depth and resilience of our roster, it’s a next-player-up mentality, and both Gabby and Desiree’s experience will be invaluable to our team’s success.”

Canada will begin the defence of their Olympic title on July 25 against Group A opponents New Zealand. 

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