Triathlon: Jellyfish provide extra challenge

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The Independent Online

Jellyfish provide extra challenge

More than 130 competitors in today's world triathlon championships in Perth, Australia, will have to contend with sticky jellyfish and dangerously shallow water during the swim leg on the Swan River. Athletes in the 1,500- metre opening leg will have to paddle delicately through the slimy, non- stinging variety of jellyfish that squish through the swimmers' fingers. Some sections of the course have proved to be so shallow that several competitors have cut their hands and feet on glass on the bottom of the river when training. Organisers have dredged for debris, but the jellyfish remain. Australia's dominance of the new Olympic sport will be under threat in the men's event. Simon Lessing, the South African-born defending champion who competes for Britain, and the Sydney World Cup champion Hamish Carter of New Zealand are considered the favourites.