Belgian Marten van Riel became fourth at the last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Van Riel is now based in the Spanish town of Gerona, where Belgian website 3athlon.be visited him and had a nice talk with him.
Van Riel will stay in Gerona for the time being, it soon becomes clear. “The conditions for training here are just optimal,” he said. And those training sessions are important, because Van Riel yearns for more. “With a fourth place at the Olympics and a vice-world title, it was of course a very nice year, but I also like to be strict with myself and realize that the really top results were just not there. I can’t blame myself, because there were stronger athletes or the race wasn’t just right for me. I will continue to work hard on the Olympic Distance, because an absolute top result is definitely in it. I want to achieve such a top result, because now everyone has almost forgotten who finished fourth at the Olympics.”
Under a new coach – Van Riel is leaving Joel Filliol’s training group and will now work with Glenn Poleunis of PTC Coaching – the Belgian will open his season at Ironman 70.3 Dubai. There he will meet fellow countrymen Bart Aernouts and Pieter Heemeryck, among others.