The triathlon competition at the European Games will begin at 10am on Tuesday. The women will be the first to compete for medals. The event programme also includes the men’s competition, which will take place a day later, and the mixed relay scheduled for 1 June.
Triathlon as a discipline has one of the most pleasant locations in the European Games. Just take a look at the picture. The entire competition will take place on the Nowa Huta Reservoir, which by the way (again) is becoming an increasingly popular place for leisure and walking for the city’s inhabitants. The lagoon was created in 1957, and for the past dozen years or so the area around it has been undergoing systematic revitalisation.
A unique curiosity is that barely 900 metres from the place where athletes will swim, run and cycle is the Jan Matejko Manor House. This used to be the site of the village of Krzesławice. Today it is the Krakow museum of one of the greatest painters in the history of our country. Of course, for the division of medals in the triathlon, this information has no special significance, but some fans may wish to combine sporting and spiritual pleasure. They will find the time to do so – the individual competitions will start at 10 a.m. and should finish before 1 p.m. After all, the European Games in Krakow are a multi-faceted event.
In the triathlon, competitors will have to swim 1.5 kilometres in the water of the Nowohuckie Reservoir, then cycle 40 kilometres, round the streets surrounding the reservoir and the adjacent park, and finally run 10 kilometres. The final part of the route has already been laid out along the park alleys.
There are 58 athletes on the start list for the women’s competition. Among them are three Poles. 27-year-old Paulina Klimas will start with number 17, Magdalena Sudak is number 45 and Józefina Młynarska will start with number 56.
Klimas is worth noting for several reasons – firstly, she is, after all, the fourth competitor at the 2021 European Championships, and also the military world champion (she won the title after her rival was disqualified, and reached the finish line second). So athletically she is strong. Secondly, it should be appreciated that she is competing in the European Games despite having had a nasty bicycle accident at a triathlon event barely a month earlier. She was forced to take a break from competing after having her hip stitched up. The ambitious athlete wanted to compete, but the doctors said no. A forced rest therefore ensued.
A total of 113 athletes will compete over three days at the Nowa Huta Lagoon. In the men’s competition, Poland will be represented by Maciej Bruździak, Michał Oliwa and Kamil Kulik.
Triathlon has different faces, so let us remind you that the one held in Krakow is an Olympic triathlon.
The European Games do not give a direct qualification for the Games, but through ranking points they are an important element of the rivalry for starting places in Paris.