Hector Pardoe Great Britain

Hector Pardoe Reveals GB Swimmers Vaccine Plan Ahead Of Paris Olympics

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By David Williams

Hector Pardoe has revealed he will be vaccinated for typhoid and hepatitis A before he gets into the water for the open water swimming at the Paris Olympics this summer.

The Welsh swimmer – one of five Swim Wales stars to be selected by Great Britain for the Games – is due to compete in the 10km open water marathon event, where he is expected to be a medal contender.

But Pardoe, from Wrexham, has said he has been told to prepare for vaccinations before racing and antibiotics afterwards amid ongoing concern over water quality in the River Seine.

With fewer than 100 days to go until the opening ceremony – also scheduled to take place along the Seine – confidence in the river’s cleanliness remains unsteady, particularly after a report published by European water and sustainability charity the Surfrider Foundation earlier this month found what it said were consistently concerning concentrations of E coli and Enterococci in the Seine.

Pardoe said: “We’re going to have a typhoid and hepatitis A vaccine beforehand and be on antibiotics after the race, regardless of what the water samples show.

“I haven’t had to take precautions like this before, but the last thing (AquaticsGB) wants to do is to put any of us in jeopardy, so they are being really cautious in the run-up to Paris.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Pardoe will be making his second successive Olympic marathon swimming competition after an eye injury cut short his medal bid in the Far East.

But the Wrexham-born swimmer will be returning to the greatest stage after claiming a bronze medal at the Doha World Championships.

Triathlon swimming legs at both the Olympics and Paralympics are also scheduled to take place in the Seine, from which the Surfrider Foundation has been taking bimonthly samples for the last six months.

Of the 14 samples taken, its report said, “only one enabled our team to conclude that the quality of the water in the Seine at this particular point was even satisfactory… it is therefore clear that the athletes who will be taking part in the Olympic and Paralympic events planned for the Seine will be swimming in polluted water and taking significant risks to their health.”

E coli can cause a range of serious infections and other side effects.

High levels of the bacteria were found in the Thames ahead of last month’s Boat Race, after which one Oxford rower blamed “poo in the water” for several members of his losing crew falling ill.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo addressed concerns again earlier this week, and said she remains confident that the Seine will be in sufficient shape to hold Olympic and Paralympic events this summer.

She, alongside IOC president Thomas Bach and French president Emmanuel Macron, are among those who have promised to take the plunge and swim in the Seine at an event scheduled for early summer.

There remains a possibility that water testing during the Games could still force events to be postponed or, in a worst case, cancelled.

When asked about triathlon, Paris 2024 president Tony Estanguet, speaking at the Sport Accord in Birmingham and as reported by the Guardian, said: “When we decided to have this competition in the Seine we knew it will be a big challenge.

“We are still confident that the triathlon will be based in the Seine because we have contingency plans. We can postpone for rainy conditions. Because it’s programmed at the beginning of the Games we can wait for better conditions. So we are confident that it will be possible to use the Seine.

“We change the date and postpone from one day to three days until it’s OK. And there is a final decision where we could not swim – it’s part of the rules of the International Federation. It’s what we want to avoid, of course.”

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