The 2023 Arena Games Triathlon powered by Zwift World Championship Series title charge reaches its zenith in London on 8 April, where the prizes of only the second ever esport world triathlon titles will be up for grabs at the Aquatic Centre in Stratford.
Twelve months ago, Beth Potter and Alex Yee hit the heights, the British duo crowned champions of the inaugural intense, virtual/real-world hybrid race Series in Singapore.
This season has also been one of firsts. The youngest ever competitor Fanni Szalai (HUN) hit the podium when the series touched down in Sursee, Switzerland for the first time, Gina Sereno and Chase McQueen won their first Arena golds in Montreal, Henri Schoeman also topping an Arena Games podium for the first time in Sursee.
It was there, too, that our Singapore ‘22 winner Zsanett Bragmayer became the first athlete to win two golds since the relaunched World Championships. Those victories put the Hungarian and Sereno in pole position in the women’s title chase, heading to London on 250 points apiece, McQueen and Schoeman likewise in the men’s, but there is plenty of intrigue and drama yet to come. (Watch all the action from Montreal and Sursee on TriathlonLive.tv)
That is almost certainly to be brought by 2022 winners who have yet to start in 2023. Potter and Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA) delivered electrifying performances 12 months ago, and with 500 points available to the winners in London, victory could potentially win them the title even with just one event under their belts.
That long-shot becomes slightly shorter given the strength of fields hitting the start lines at the Aquatic Centre. Natalie van Coevorden (AUS),Anabel Knoll (GER),Hanne De Vet (BEL),Kate Waugh (GBR) and Eva Daniels (LUX) are just a few of the names that could still have a big influence on the women’s title race.
Should any one of our medallists from Sursee or Montreal win in London, however, then the world title is theirs regardless of other results. For the likes of Potter or Beaugrand to stand an improbably but not impossible chance of snatching it then, among several results that have to go their way, Bragmayer and Sereno have to finish in 10th place or lower. A tall order indeed.
Incoming for their first starts on the men’s 2023 title chase are none other than Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee – set for a hero’s welcome from the crowds – and Norway’s Gustav Iden, both arriving off the back of racing in Quarteira, plus Morrocco’s Jawad Abdelmoula and South African Jamie Riddle.
Along with Schoeman and McQueen, the double-barrel threat of Maxime Hueber-Moobruger (FRA) and Jack Stanton-Stock (GBR) plus Swiss Simon Westermann know that victory in London makes the world title theirs. Then there’s the most successful Arena Games athlete of all time, Justus Nieschlag (GER) waiting in the wings along with Aurelien Raphael (FRA),Max Stapley (TRI) and Nicolo Strada (ITA),themselves no strangers to the Arena podium.
There’s no doubt about it – London 2023 Arena Games are set to stun! There are a handful of tickets still available to buy here, or tune in on TriathlonLive.tv on Saturday 8 April from 6.30pm local time for this year’s blockbuster finale.
Source : Triathlon.org