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Briton dies in French Ironman contest

A British extreme athlete who was taking part in the Nice Ironman contest in the south of France died on Sunday after crashing into a wall during the bicycle leg of the grueling event.

Briton dies in French Ironman contest
File photo of an Ironman contest. Photo: Sarah Hoss

The ninth edition of the Nice Ironman contest ended in tragedy on Sunday after a 30-year-old British contestant died in a bike crash.

The man, who has not been named but is believed to be from London, reportedly crashed into a wall on the main road in the town of Tourettes-sur-Loup at a sharp turn in the road.

He was airlifted to hospital but later died from his injuries, French TV, TF1 reported.

“The accident was probably caused by an error by the rider that resulted in him skidding and then hitting his head on the rock, causing concussion,” said a shocked Yves Cordier, the organiser of the competition.

The death of the Briton is reportedly the first time that a contestant has died during an Ironman contest in France.

The race winner Frederiek van Lierde from Belgium, led a minute's silence for the victim at the end of the race.

The grueling event began with a 3.8km swim in the sea, followed by a 180km bike circuit with the final leg being a marathon run.

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RELIGION

French electrician sues Netflix for labelling him a radical Islamist

A French man of North African origin has accused Netflix of racial discrimination for labelling him a radical Islamist in an action movie for which he was filmed without his knowledge, his lawyer said on Monday.

French electrician sues Netflix for labelling him a radical Islamist
The Netflix movie Sentinelle was set and filmed in Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Sentinelle, set in the southern city of Nice, tells the story of an elite French soldier returning from service in Syria who embarks on a mission to find the man who raped her sister.

One scene shows the protagonist, Klara, looking through the sights of her rifle at two young friends saying goodbye to each other.

The scene was shot on the Promenade des Anglais, the seaside walk where a Tunisian radical mowed down 86 people with a truck on July 14th, 2016.

The French subtitles Netflix provided to describe the scene for the hard of hearing refer to two young “barbus” – a derogatory term for ultraconservative Muslim men that means “the bearded ones”.

One of the men, a 21-year-old electrician from Nice, filed a criminal complaint against Netflix over the description, accusing the company of “provoking discrimination and racial hatred,” his lawyer Jean-Pascal Padovani said.

“The director took the liberty of drawing a line between the North African features of the people he filmed… and religious fundamentalists,” Padovani said.

That the shot was filmed at the scene of one of the worst terror attacks in French history was even more suggestive, he added.

“It’s unacceptable as it suggests that anyone of North African origin is a potential terrorist,” Padovani said.

A spokesperson for Netflix, which was targeted by the complaint as the film’s broadcaster, declined to comment on the matter when contacted by AFP.

It has, however, removed the term “barbus” from the audio description.

Padovani said that his client had received over 80 messages from acquaintances who recognised him in the film, which was shot in 2019 and began streaming on Netflix in March.

Some expressed shock at seeing him depicted as a terrorist, he said.

The complainant is also considering suing Netflix for using his image for commercial purposes without his permission, Padovani said.

Sentinelle was directed by French film-maker Julien Leclercq.

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