Marten Van Riel insists he’ll ‘have no regrets’ whether he departs the Paris Olympics with a medal or not.

The Belgian, 31, is a two-time Games veteran in the men’s triathlon but missed out on the rostrum in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 as he finished sixth and fourth respectively.

And though Paris 2024 may be his last hurrah at an Olympic level, Van Riel’s main motivation is to depart France having given it his all, whether he lands on the podium or not.  

He revealed: ‘‘I’m going for a medal in Paris but I’ll have no regrets. I will have been all in and done everything for it.

‘‘I think leaving it all out there in the end is the most important thing. To the outside world, obviously medals matter but for me what really matters is to have fun.

‘‘To know that I left it all out there and to know that I enjoyed the journey of the past few years towards this race. I hope that I can do a really great race in Paris, race aggressively and have no regrets.  

‘‘I love doing the sport and I’m super thankful that I can make a living this way. It’s kind of crazy I can make a living swimming, biking and running around the world. I’m doing what I love to do and when you think about it, that’s something you have to appreciate.

‘‘Obviously, I’d prefer to take the medals and be the best in the world but in the end, I’m already proud of the journey I’ve done and I’d rather be very happy on a day-to-day basis and enjoy my training and come fourth in a race than to hate every single day and take a medal.’’

With Paris 2024 located next door to his Belgian homeland, Van Riel is relishing the opportunity to compete so close to home, with family and friends set to follow and cheer him on in France.

He confessed: ‘‘I’m super excited because the Games I’ve done are Rio 2016, which was on the other side of the world and there wasn’t that many people that I knew there and obviously with Tokyo there was Covid and no spectators.

‘‘Now with Paris being so close to home, I know that some of my friends and people from my village are looking to get a bus organised to come to Paris and a lot of people that I know say that they’ll be there to cheer me on so that’ll be an extra motivator.

‘‘Because in the end, a lot of people around me, my friends and family are making sacrifices for my sport and to be able to share the emotions that are part of the sport with them, that’s awesome and that’s gonna be super cool.’’

Before the Games, Van Riel will compete in the T100 San Francisco Triathlon this Saturday, and the Belgian expressed his excitement finally entering the T100 World Tour after missing out on Miami and Singapore.

He added: ‘‘I’m looking forward to taking up the glove against the best in the world. I’ve been in the short distance a long time and doing the same courses every year and having hte same competition every year gets a bit boring.

‘‘It’s super exciting because we’ve got an awesome course here in San Fran and it’s going to be crazy.

‘‘I’m racing new people, it’s just a whole new vibe with T100 around the race and I’m really fired up to race here and be part of it.’’

Watch the world’s best triathletes compete in San Francisco T100 live on Saturday 8 June from 1345 UK on PTO+ or on Eurosport 1 from 10pm CEST.  For more information go to