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Neither ran nor floods stop Olympic qualifier

The severe floods in Iowa this week caused a raucous in the triathlon world.

See, there are spots on the U.S. Olympic Team up for grabs and the Hy-Vee ITU Triathlon World Cup, scheduled for Des Moines, Iowa this weekend, is the final qualifying event for athletes to get to Beijing.

Flooding forced race officials to move out of downtown Des Moines for two reasons -- first, so authorities could concentrate on clean up efforts and second, and more practically, because the transition area was under 17 feet of water.

Moving to West Des Moines, the swim portion was still a problem as rain and floods caused bacteria levels to be too high to make the open water safe for competitors. Officials thought of canceling the swim for the age group, youth and junior races and there was a chance even the elite athletes would be forced into a duathlon -- which would not help them in Olympic qualifying points.

But officials said that bacteria has dropped to safe levels for all swimmers and the race, for all categories, will go on as planned this weekend.

The third and final spot on the women's and men's teams will largely be determined this weekend. The women's race comes down to Sarah Haskins Kortuem and Sarah Groff while the men's spot will be battle among four -- Andy Potts, Hunter Kemper, Doug Friman and Brian Fleischmann.

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