Right up there in any discussion of the greatest triathletes of all-time, Javier is a legend of the sport having racked up major titles and race wins across all distances of the sport for more than a decade. His CV boasts five ITU World titles, three ITU World Cups, an Olympic silver medal, two Ironman 70.3 World Championships, an XTERRA World crown and Ironman victories. Always an innovator in the sport, he is now ready to give something new a go once again with the SLT Arena Games.
Jonny’s CV is a hit list of top level triathlon achievements spanning more than a decade of incredible results. He is a two-time Olympic medallist having won bronze at his home games in London in 2012 before upgrading to silver, behind brother Alistair, in Rio in 2016. Jonny has broken the triathlon mould by becoming famous beyond the sport, and hit global headlines after his famous collapse in Cozumel in 2016 where Alistair helped him across the finish line. It was one of the sport’s most iconic moments and earned the Yorkshireman a place in the hearts of sports fans worldwide.
The South African is a true star of Super League, dominating the early events including securing an impressive victory over three gruelling days in the first ever event on Hamilton Island back in 2017. Richard has earned a reputation as one of the fiercest and strongest competitors on the circuit and proved that in some style back in 2016 when he made a remarkable recovery from a broken collarbone to finish fourth at the Rio Olympics. He has placed in the top five athletes in the WTS rankings for five years to underline the consistency of his performances, with a stellar run leg often leaving his opposition trailing in his wake.
His SLT story is legendary. Jonas turned up at Super League Triathlon Jersey as an up and comer along with his father and asked Chris McCormack to give him a start in the Pro race. Chris told Jonas he had to earn his spot and helped guide him towards the Super League Qualifiers. From there a star was born. Jonas duly made it not only into Super League but broke through onto the world stage and is the leading short course male for the triathlon mad nation of Germany. An athlete that is still improving, his ninth place at the Tokyo Olympics test event underlined that there is a lot still to come from him and the enforced break may have benefitted his development.
With a career built on consistency and quality, Pierre has reaped the benefits of years of hard work in recent times. His second place to Vincent Luis at RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey 2019 showed how far he had come and what a threat he can be with a strong all-round game. Pierre grew up as a swimmer in France before a move to the USA in 2006 saw him decide to give triathlon a go. He hasn’t looked back since as he has built an impressive career as a well-rounded racer. An Under-23 World Champion, French national title holder, Olympian and gold medallist in the European Championships in Glasgow in 2018 all add to his impressive CV.
Vasco is one of the most exciting young athletes rising through the ranks – and he also has form in Rotterdam. The Portuguese star took the silver medal in the Juniors at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final when it was hosted in the Dutch city. Vasco also has some impressive Super League experience behind him. The 20-year-old came in as a newbie for Super League Triathlon Malta in 2019 and stunned the field with a brilliant top ten finish to prove he is a real threat over the shorter distances.
After a childhood that was spent in swimming and gymnastics, Justus switched his attention to triathlon and produced a seismic shock when he became German champion in 2006 as a virtual unknown. Since then he has built a reputation as a solid all-round athlete and has produced some impressive results including podium spots in World Cup events and top ten performances on the WTS stage making him a dangerman across different race formats.
Alois has become a rising star of the ITU circuit with a number of impressive top ten finishes over the past two years pushing him towards the world’s top 20 and earning him the title of Austria’s triathlete of the year in 2019. He started life competing in Winter Triathlon and took the Junior European Championship crown in 2008. His tenth place in the World Series Grand Final last year helped him get selected for the Austrian team for this summer’s postponed Olympic Games.
A real local hero, Rotterdam born Marco is racing in familiar surroundings at the first event of the SLT Arena Games and will be looking to make the most of his home advantage. A competitive swimmer growing up, Marco made the switch to triathlon aged 18. He has grown into racing in the colours of the Netherlands in World Series races, World Championships and World Cups and has extensive experience over sprint distances. With a killer swim he will be one the others will have to mark in the water.
The former swimmer is one for lofty ambitions and is aiming to muscle his way onto the Dutch Olympic squad for the mixed relay at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics. That will likely put him in direct competition with Marco van der Stel, making their race within a race in Rotterdam a fascinating encounter, especially over the short and sharp distances on display. Donald grew up in the water but moved to triathlon at a relatively early age and has been progressing ever since. He is desperate for that one big breakthrough result on the world stage and the SLT Arena Games is a perfect showcase.
Reigning Ironman World Champion Anne etched her name into triathlon folklore when she ran an incredible 2:51:07 marathon in Kona to become the first German woman to take the title. Anne started life as a fantastic short course athlete with breakneck run speed and has finished second and third in the WTS Series as well as a Mixed Relay team champion. As a long course athlete she has also won Ironman Denmark, 70.3 Oceanside, Dubai and Lanzarote and finished third at the 70.3 World Championships.
Sure to be a huge draw, home favourite Rachel will not be short of support when the SLT Arena Games visits her home country of the Netherlands. Rachel has built up a significant profile in Holland through years of consistent performances as well as two Olympic Games appearances for her country. She has taken victory in WTS races and been incredibly reliable in the unpredictable world of Super League. Though she has never won a Super League event weekend yet, she has placed in the top three in four of her six outings, which is a record pretty much every other athlete would be extremely envious of.
Georgia is often still classed as one for the future, but has proven to be very much one for now. Her meteoric rise to the top of world triathlon has been nothing short of sensational. After a successful junior career, Georgia quickly translated her talents into the senior ranks and by 2018 was a regular even against strong competition in the incredibly competitive female British WTS squad. After a string of podium finishes, including in her home race of Leeds, she finished third in the rankings at the end of 2018 and backed it up again in 2019. Injury has robbed her of a couple of Super League starts but she marked herself out as one to watch with a fourth placed finish at Jersey in 2018.
Jess has grown into a fan favourite for her down to earth demeanor and attacking racing style having started her sporting career in swimming, golf and football before switching to triathlon. That swim background has proved invaluable and given her a huge weapon with which to secure success. A powerful bike leg and a lack of fear at going off the front helped her to two Commonwealth Games silver medals in both the individual and mixed relay events in 2018 and she ended the 2019 season second in the WTS standings with only Katie Zaferes ahead of her.
Léonie has been an important part of France’s powerhouse mixed relay team – winning the Glasgow European Championships and ITU Hamburg. That ability to race hard in short and sharp bursts sets her up perfectly for the SLT Arena Games and the unique challenges it will bring. Léonie has dazzled before with a run leg that catches opponents by surprise and has brought her success throughout her career, most notably in becoming the U23 Vice World Champion. Top ten finishes in her last three Super League races underlines the threat she poses.
Italian star Ilaria has delivered her best results in recent times over sprint distance races, which could give her an edge coming into the first ever SLT Arena Games event. Ilaria will hit the start line with extra confidence she can hold her own in such star studded company. Only her second ever Super League start in Malta 2019 produced a stunning eighth place finish. She also proved she can mix it with the best on the turbo with some strong performances as part of the Super League team racing on Zwift.
A multiple national swimming champion as a youngster both in the pool and open water, Maya was spotted by the Dutch Triathlon Federation and encouraged into the sport. That big swim is her major weapon and has aided Maya’s transition from the junior ranks into the elites where she has gained consistency over the past few years thanks in part to putting running injuries behind her. Maya has also improved on the bike and was the first across the line in a highly competitive race of the Super League Triathlon esports Cycling Series which underlines her threat on the Zwift platform.
Australian star Natalie is going to be pushing the pace in the water given her swimming background. A competitive swimmer and cross country runner as a youngster she was scouted by star coach Jamie Turner and introduced to triathlon. A first WTS podium in Abu Dhabi in 2018 underlined her growing potential which came to the fore again last year when she secured a bronze medal for Australia in the ITU Mixed Relay World Championships alongside fellow Super League stars Aaron Royle and Emma Jeffcoat.
Valerie might be a comparative newbie to professional triathlon having only quit her job as an engineer to turn fully pro three years ago, but her background in competitive swimming, which included a stint at the University of Michigan, means she will be feared when it comes to racing in the pool. Valerie initially made a big impact in Belgium, winning both the Sprint and Olympic distance Belgian Championship titles in 2019. She has made a seamless transition to top level racing with podium places in World Cup races and a top 40 world ranking.
The 21-year-old is a rising star of the Dutch tri scene and was bestowed the ultimate honour when she was asked to deputise for Rachel Klamer as the Netherlands mixed relay team aimed for Olympic qualification in Edmonton last year. Schoens, a former gymnast who switched to swimming but has considerable bike power, held her own in that race and was given a taste for the big time, which she will get again as a rookie in a star laden field at the SLT Arena Games in Rotterdam. Schoens has kept her focus on sprint distance racing and had a breakthrough result when she finished fourth at the ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup Final in 2019.