Anticipation is building for this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris as the Team GB triathlon lineup is announced. The triathlon event will take place in the French capital across three days, with the men’s individual race taking place on Tuesday 30 July, the women’s individual race on Wednesday 31 July, and  the mixed team relay on Monday 5 August.

The team consists of Beth Potter and Alex Yee, whose selection was announced last November. They will be joined by the double Olympic medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown, Kate Waugh and Sam Dickinson. 

Taylor-Brown will compete in the individual event, hoping to improve on the silver medal she won in Tokyo, and to repeat the Team GB gold medal success in the relay event three years ago. Waugh will be making her Olympic debut, after coming seventh in a test individual race last year and earning a team silver in the relay event.

Team GB is the most successful Olympic triathlon nation since the sport was first included in the Games in 2000. It is a highly demanding multi-disciplinary sport that consists of swimming, cycling, and running. The swim stage can take place in a pool, but more often it takes place in open water and the competitors wear wetsuits, swim caps and goggles. 

However, there are many variations on the triathlon if you do not favour one of the disciplines. For example, aquathlon consists of the swimming and running stages only, and the aquabike involves the swimming and cycling stages only. 

Whichever option you choose, it’s an excellent choice to get fit, build up your mental resilience and confidence, and become part of a friendly and supportive community. Many people find that cold water swimming is beneficial for their mental health, helping them to manage conditions such as stress and anxiety. 

Olympic triathlons consist of a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride, and a 10km run, although there are many variations on these distances to suit all abilities. For example, a super sprint event consists of a 400m swim, a 10km bike ride, and a 2.5km run, while an ironman event involves a gruelling 3.8km swim, a 180 km bike ride, and a 42.2km run. 

Speaking about the announcement of the complete lineup of this year’s Olympic triathlon team, Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Misson, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Georgia, Kate and Sam to be part of Team GB’s cohort of Paris 2024 Olympians.”

He added: “Triathlon in Paris will be one of the great spectacles of this Olympic Games, and it’s fantastic that once again we have got a hugely competitive squad of athletes taking to the water and the roads.” 

Speaking on the announcement of the squad, British Triathlon Performance Director and Team GB Triathlon Lead, Mike Cavendish, said:  “It’s really exciting to be naming the full squad for the Olympics, for both British Triathlon and the athletes, particularly with the Games being so close to home and after the experience of a Covid Games in Tokyo.”  

The announcement brings pride and joy to some, but there was also disappointment as Jonny Brownlee was left out of the team. The 34 year old took bronze in the 2012 London Olympics, silver in Rio, and gold as part of the relay team in Tokyo 2020, which took place in 2021 due to the pandemic. 

Brownlee had been aiming for inclusion in the Paris 2024 Olympic team, but his performances over the past two years have been disappointing, raising questions about his fitness. 

Yahoo News reports that Brownlee wrote on Instagram: "I have achieved more than I could ever have imagined in my Olympic career. After 99 world triathlon starts, 52 podiums and 3 Olympic medals, it's not the fairytale ending that I'd wished for, but Paris was always a bonus, and it can be the unwritten chapter of an incredible book!”

He added: "I have a great summer to look forward to and some exciting racing ahead."

Performance director Mike Cavendish, speaking to Britain's PA news agency, said: "There's no doubt that, had we decided to pick Jonny, he would have still done a brilliant job. We're just faced with having to make some really difficult decisions and we've got an athlete in Sam who just edged it this time."

Team GB fans will be keen to follow the progress of the newcomers as the Olympics get underway in July. 

Sarah A