Arena Games Triathlon Powered by Zwift: Singapore Grand Final Preview

Understanding the new format of the Arena Games Triathlon powered by Zwift, and the title contenders to look out for

Aurelien Raphael taking the first dive into Marina Reservoir during the Athlete Familiarisation Day. PHOTO: SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON

6 May 2022, Singapore - The first-ever triathlon esports World Champions will be crowned against the backdrop of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands tomorrow (7 May) as the world’s top triathletes battle it out in the Singapore Grand Final of the Arena Games Triathlon powered by Zwift.

Held at the Marina Bay area, the event boasts a highly competitive field of triathletes which includes the likes of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games champions Alex Yee, Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown.

The Arena Games Triathlon Series held its inaugural event in Rotterdam in 2020, and became an official World Championship this year following a partnership between Super League Triathlon and World Triathlon. Points won in each event will contribute to the World Triathlon’s world rankings.

Singaporean Louisa Marie Middleditch takes a swim at Marina Reservoir ahead of the Grand Final of the Arena Games Triathlon powered by Zwift. PHOTO: SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON

Innovated during the height of the pandemic, the Arena Games Triathlon format was designed to deal with various restrictions imposed to safeguard public health. Real-life and virtual racing was thus combined to bring both its physical and TV audiences closer to the action under pandemic conditions.

Popular training program, Zwift, is connected to curved treadmills and smart trainers which the athletes use for their run and bike segments respectively.

These segments will take place under tentage set up in between the Louis Vuitton and Apple stores at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza, with the swim some 150 metres away in the Marina Reservoir.

Details on how to watch can be found here.

Justus Nieschlag emerges from the waters of Marina Bay during athlete familiarisation day. PHOTO: SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON

Singapore is the final of three events in this year’s Arena Games Triathlon Series, and the only one to be held outdoors. The previous two events were held in Munich (9 April) and London (23 April).

Here are four title contenders to watch for this weekend:

Aurelian Raphael during an interview with PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Aurelien Raphael

Though he may be relatively unknown compared to some of his competitors, Aurelien Raphael has truly come into his own in the Arena Games Triathlon Series.

Raphael took the win in the first event this season held in Munich and is slated as the favourite for the title by Super League Triathlon Co-Founder Chris McCormack.

Regarding his chances for the title, Raphael is quietly confident. “It’s not my first competition in the Super League, I know this discipline, so it’s good,” he said.

Alex Yee in an interview with PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Alex Yee

As the most successful male triathlete in a single Olympic Games, Alex Yee is undoubtedly one to watch this weekend.

With his second place finish in the second event this season in London, Yee is well and truly in with a shout for the title.

“I’m quite relaxed about this event, I’m just really happy to be in Singapore,” said Yee.

Beth Potter

Consistency has been season-defining for Potter who won the opening event in Munich this year and took second place in London.

Furthermore, with London winner Cassandre Beaugrand absent in Singapore, Potter is the points leader and the one to beat on the women’s side.

Jess Learmonth during an interview with PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Jess Learmonth

Learmonth is highly acclaimed in the triathlon scene and could be Potter’s biggest threat.

She took home Gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Triathlon Mixed Relay event alongside Yee and stood on the final step of the podium in the London event.

“I think Beth’s vying for the win,” said Learmonth, “but we’ll give her a good go for her money I think, and it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.”

The Arena Games Triathlon Format

The Arena Games Triathlon is split into shorter stages instead of one long race following a swim-bike-run sequence as in traditional triathlons.

The stages include a 200m swim, a 4km cycle, and a 1km run.

In the heats, the athletes complete two stages of a swim-cycle-run sequence.

The final includes three stages. The first stage is a swim-cycle-run sequence. The order is then reversed for Stage 2. Mass starts are employed in both stages.

Aurelien Raphael taking the first dive into Marina Reservoir during the Athlete Familiarisation Day. PHOTO: SUPER LEAGUE TRIATHLON

The Stage 1 and Stage 2 timings of the individual athletes will then be combined to form a leaderboard which determines the starting order of Stage 3.

A pursuit start is then adopted in Stage 3 - the athletes are flagged off from fastest to slowest based on their standing in the combined timings.

The heats for the Singapore event will be held today. Although 30 men and 20 women will take part in them, only 10 from each category will progress to the finals tomorrow.

The Singapore event will also include a Corporate Race, the Singapore National Championships and a Tri Club Race.

#SportPlusSG #Triathlon #AGTSingapore #SuperLeagueTriathlon