SLT Stat Crunch: Swim King Schoeman Shakes Things Up

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Henri Schoeman is under pressure to try and win back his crown as the king of the swimmers when Super League returns to Malta on 19-20 October.

The South African star had to be content with commentary duties at the opening race of the 2019/20 Championship Series in Jersey as he continued his recovery from illness.

And he could only watch on as Aurelien Raphael posted amazing swim splits with another Super League newcomer, Aiden Longcroft-Harris, not far behind.

With Schoeman back for Super League Malta it will be fascinating to see how the tactics play out across the race.

We asked our data man, Graeme Acheson, for his lowdown on the Jersey numbers and to look ahead to Malta.

Swim

Aurelien Raphael went straight from the blocks in the first swim and set the fastest time of the race. His 3:06 was significantly faster than the average of 3:29 for the weekend. He has only completed two swims in SLT, but he is now technically the fastest Super League swimmer, albeit a lack of races means this is a bit of an outlier and Aiden Longcroft-Harris, whose swimming was amazing, was consistently the fastest in the water.

Both these guys have pushed Schoeman off his swim perch and it will be interesting to see how this interaction plays out when he is back in Malta. Will they form a group and swim off together? They could try and break Vincent Luis early doors and get away.

Bike

It’s all about Hayden Wilde. His bike splits in the Semi-Finals at Jersey were significantly faster than everyone else across the board. He rode a 7:32 for his second bike split and averaged 7:39 overall. The next fastest individual lap was 7:39, with the average for all athletes in the race 7:57 – 18 seconds off of Wilde. It just shows how a strong, technical rider can break away on twisty short courses, and with hills and technical descents in Malta he will be a huge threat again.

Run

Kristian Blummenfelt’s barefoot running really stole the headlines at RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey 2019. The Norwegian ran 3:09 in his first barefoot run, and 3:16 in his second. Once he put his shoes on he ran at 3:04 (all normalized paces). So he’s clearly better in the shoes, and the running barefoot may have caused his elimination later on.

Overall

Simon Henseleit and Pierre Le Corre did really well. Many thought Luis would win, but Le Corre’s second place was more of a surprise. The removal of the bike suited him – he was 21st from 27 on the bike on day 1 – but it was still a great performance. Henseleit didn’t have any standout splits from a data perspective, he was just very quick throughout. Gustav Iden, Mario Mola and Jonny Brownlee didn’t record the type of results they may have expected.

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