BETH POTTER was never likely to be fazed by chatter about the water quality of a river.

Described in a promotional video for today’s Supertri E World championships in London as a “very complete triathlete” with “no weaknesses” and “the most resilient person I think I have ever met”, the Scot remains largely unmoved by the developing story around the suitability of the Seine to host the swimming leg of this summer’s Olympic triathlon.

The president of Paris 2024, Tony Estanguet, this week admitted that due to concerns over e-coli levels, the triathlon could be either delayed or even reduced to a duathlon despite more than a billion Euros being invested to provide safe swimming in the river for the first time in a century.

With the start of the Games now just more than three months away, that level of potential disruption is not what any athlete wants to hear towards the end of a four-year cycle that has all been constructed with peaking in Paris in mind.

Potter, though, is not concerned about those possible pitfalls. One of Scotland’s leading hopes for a gold medal, the world champions remains stoically confident that the organisers will do whatever it takes to ensure the event goes ahead on time and as billed. The 32-year-old took part – and won – the test event, that included a swim in the Seine, last year and revealed that she’s experienced worse throughout her open swimming career.  

Unless a decision is taken that forces a change, Potter’s laser-like focus will remain on ensuring she gets to Paris as strong as she can be in all three disciplines.

“No, not really,” she replies, when asked if these developments are at all unsettling. “There was an issue around the water quality last year too. Athlete safety obviously has to come first but they are putting a plan in place and I’m confident that it will be fine for the Games.

“I’ve not heard anything [about the date for the swimming leg being potentially switched] and I think it will be fine in the Seine. We swam it last year and it was fine. There was a problem last summer due to the heavy rainfall but we have that problem in the rivers in England as well. In July there shouldn’t be heavy rainfall [in Paris] so I’m confident it will be fine.

“I thought it tasted quite clean last year, to be honest. I have definitely swum in harbours that have been a lot worse and smelled a lot worse too.”

And if her event got reduced to just a cycle and a run? “I don’t see that happening,” she adds. “I guess [if it does] it’s just something we’ll need to adapt to on the day or the week before. I’m sure we’ll get plenty of warning.”

Potter’s ascent to the top of the triathlon tree has been relatively rapid but she seems relaxed with her surrounds and the expectations that come with it.

Asked about the “no weaknesses” comment, there is little sign of the Scottish cringe and the inherent tendency to bat away compliments with a self-deprecating putdown.

A continuous journey of self-improvement ensures there will be little prospect of the former track athlete ever being encumbered by complacency but she is evidently comfortable in her own skin as she approaches the defining moment of her triathlon career.

“In the last couple of years I’ve been trying to become more solid across all three [disciplines] so I’m bomb-proof,” she adds. “But it’s still a work in progress. I’m still working on my weaknesses in my swim, bike and run. It’s trying to keep all three plates spinning and at the best levels possible.

“It’s also good to be nervous. That helps me get the best out of myself on race day. But it’s a fine line. You don’t want to start using up energy to combat nerves when there’s no need. There has to be a balance.”

With her Olympic place assured as early as last November, Potter has nothing to achieve or prove before Paris. The cancellation of an event in Abu Dhabi due to adverse weather conditions means she will likely race just once outdoors, in Cagliari, ahead of Paris, believing the travel demands makes Yokohama a trip not worth making.

She will keep ticking over at today’s Supertri E World Triathlon Championships powered by Zwift taking place at London’s Aquatics Centre, a blend of real life and virtual racing in which Potter enjoys an impressive competitive record.

“I’m looking forward to this one,” she adds. “I quite like it as it’s pure VO2 [cardio exercise] and a good race-sharpener, letting you see where you’re at in terms of get-out speed and all those things.

“It’s a bit later than I was hoping to open my season but it will be good to get the ball rolling. Abu Dhabi was a bit annoying especially having travelled out there and having just been on camp. I didn’t get to see where I was at.

“But I think I’ve got enough markers with the people I train with and how I’m training that I’m in a pretty good position at the moment. I don’t feel any pressure from anyone else, it’s more what I put on myself. It was good to win the world champs last year and do well in the Paris test event too.

“That gives me confidence going into this year. I’ve had a good winter and I’m confident I will have the same or have even a better year this year. There are always things out of your control but I’ll do everything I can to put myself in the best position to succeed.”

- Watch supertri E World Triathlon Championship powered by Zwift live on Eurosport and on the supertri YouTube from 6.30pm