SLT Arena Games from Super League Triathlon

Gomez, Schomburg and Nieschlag React To SLT Arena Games

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Triathlon legends against the rising stars of multisport. The dynamics of competing indoors. The melding of virtual with real-world racing. The debut SLT Arena Games threw up plenty of talking points.

But what became instantly apparent in the unique Triple Mix format was just how good it was to see the world’s best athletes competing against each other was once again. As the Super League’s own tri legend, Chris McCormack, says: “I’m excited to see the athletes back racing and I thought it was a huge success given the difficult conditions to put it on. It’s great to see triathlon back on television.”

It was something that the athletes cherished as well, from the ascendant German pair of event winner Justus Nieschlag and Stage 1 victor Jonas Schomburg to one of the greatest triathletes in history, Spain’s five-time ITU world champion Javier Gomez, who arrived in Rotterdam at 4:30am before the race having competed in France the day before. And, in true Gomez fashion, would go on to reach the podium.

We hear from the athletes on their frenetic hour of racing the SLT Arena Games…

JUSTUS NIESCHLAG

Justus Nieschlag SLT Arena Games for Super League Triathlon

“I never thought I could come and win here as I haven’t raced for more than one year. It feels amazing as I hadn’t even thought about winning this race. It was all about tactics today and not going too hard at the beginning. I swam well today and my transitions were good and that was key for succeeding here.”

“I tried to work together with Jonas (Schomburg) and I’m sorry he dropped off right at the end, but I knew at other virtual races that I’ve done that I can overtake people 300m from the finish line.”

“The Triple Mix was amazing and it’s good to be racing again after a year without it. The hardest format was the bike-run-swim and having to swim hard for the final 200m. But it’s good to be back, racing indoors was unique and it’ll be great to race some more.”

JAVIER GOMEZ

Javier Gomez Justus Nieschlag SLT Arena Games for Super League Triathlon

“I didn’t think I’d make third place overall after a pretty tough start to the day. If you make a small mistake in this type of racing, then you’ll pay for it. I didn’t expect to be on the podium overall, so I’m really pleased. It’s not the favourite distance of an older guy like me but it was really fun as well.

“I raced a French Grand Prix event yesterday and the trip to get here was horrendous, with everything going wrong. I slept for four hours and I felt it most in the first triathlon, but I’m proud to have been competitive against some of the best guys at these shorter distances.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone in the sports industry, so being able to race was amazing and all of the athletes really enjoyed it. And up next for me? I really don’t know; I’ll have to see what comes up on the calendar and what the situation is.”

JONAS SCHOMBURG

Jonas Schomburg SLT Arena Games for Super League Triathlon

“I was surprised (to win Stage 1) and I was cruising at the front. I tried a new thing to run without shoes as it’s good I was the only athlete to do that at first – I hope I can keep it like that. I’ve been running a lot on the beaches in South Africa, so I’m used to it now and had no problem on the treadmill at all.”

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