Lightning fast splits and record breaking performances – relive some of the top moments from women’s supertri E racing

Previously known as the Arena Games, supertri’s ESports format blending real-life and virtual racing has brought no shortage of world-class performances, epic battles and drama to our screens over the years. As we get the popcorn ready for this year’s supertri E World Championship in London, we take a look back at some of the top moments from the women’s racing over the last 4 years.

Writer & Long Course Triathlete
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Formerly known as the Super League Triathlon Arena Games, the freshly rebranded supertri E World Triathlon Championship is set to take place in London this April – with a star-studded start list set to bring fireworks to this fast and furious blend of real-life and virtual racing. And unlike in previous years, where athletes had several of the E Sports events to rack up points and claim the overall title. This year, there’s just one shot to take the crown.

As we countdown to this year’s race, we take a look back at some of the best performances in the women’s races since supertri first brought the Arena Games format to the world stage back in 2020. Grab the popcorn and get ready to relive some of supertri E’s most epic moments.

2020: Olympian Jessica Learmonth dominates in Rotterdam

After the pandemic put a halt to international racing, the inaugural Arena Games in Rotterdam brought triathlon back to the world stage with a bang. Introducing a whole new concept of ESports inspired racing that has since become a fan favourite.

And, despite having not raced since the Tokyo test event in 2019 and being up against a stacked field including the then-reigning IRONMAN World Champion Anne Haug. Britain’s Jess Learmonth took on the new format in dominant style.

Leading from the get-go, Learmonth almost made it look easy. That is, until her post-race interview gave us an insight into just how tough this style of racing really is: “The Triple Mix format was so hard. It felt absolutely horrendous as I felt smashed after the first stage. I’ve never done anything this hard before…”

2021: Lucy Charles-Barclay lights it up in London

While supertri E represents the shortest, sharpest racing going – that doesn’t mean the IRONMAN specialists haven’t stepped on to the treadmill to give the world’s best short course athletes a run for their money over the years. And, perhaps aside from Lionel Sanders and that game face, Lucy Charles-Barclay’s outstanding performance in London is one of the most memorable.

Diving into the virtual-reality format, we saw Lucy outswim Sophie Coldwell and Beth Potter – both incredibly strong swimmers on the short course scene. The three started the final stage neck and neck, with exactly the same points. After getting herself a lead on the swim, Lucy made a mistake in transition – almost trying to hop aboard the wrong treadmill – which meant it came down to an epic Lucy Charles-Barclay versus Beth Potter battle on the final run. Potter – who’s become a dominant force on the supertri circuit and is set to race in London this April as she gets ready for this year’s Olympic games – ultimately caught Lucy in the final 700m of the race. But it was a masterclass in versatility from the now-reigning IRONMAN World Champion.

2022: Blisteringly-quick Beaugrand in a league of her own

Back to London for our 2022 highlight and this time it was French star and strong 2024 Olympic contender Cassandre Beaugrand who was making waves. Early on we saw her run down Beth Potter – leaving commentators Will McCloy and Chris McCormack incredulous because, in their words: “who runs down Beth Potter!?”

Heading into the final round, Beaugrand had earned herself a 21 second lead for the pursuit start. In the closing stages of the final run, we saw two of the world’s best runners in women’s triathlon side by side on the treadmills – with Beaugrand somehow making her rapid pace look more like an easy recovery jog compared to Potter who certainly looked like she was going full gas. As our John Levison wrote at the time Beaugrand “produced the most complete display of racing we have ever seen in the format… she was in a different league from the start.”

Cassandre is on the start list for the 2024 super tri E World Championship, and it’ll be a strong litmus test for what her top end speed is looking like ahead of Paris 2024. Particularly with the likes of Beth Potter and Vicky Holland also due to race.

2023: Next Gen superstar Fanni Szalai steps up to the podium in Switzerland

Competing against some of the world’s best athletes at just 15 years of age would be a moment worth celebrating in its own right. But at the Arena Games in Sursee, Switzerland in 2023 – the young superstar Fanni Szalai made an astounding debut.

Having only just turned 15 in the January of 2023, Szalai made history as she toed the start line in Sursee last March as the youngest ever athlete to compete in supertri’s E sports format. And she certainly competed with strength, determination and firepower beyond her years. Putting down some of the day’s fastest run splits and battling it out with Hungarian compatriot Zsanett Bragmeyer and Brit star Olivia Mathias to eventually take the third step on the podium.

After her performance in Switzerland, Szalai won two European Junior Cup titles and competed in the Super League Championship Series in 2023. Showing she’s certainly one to watch at supertri E London this April.

2023: Beth Potter flips the script on Beaugrand

The last time triathlon ESports came to London saw Beth Potter convincingly beat Cassandre Beaugrand, flipping the script on the 2022 London event where it was Beaugrand who was in control from start to finish.

Beth set the tone early on with a rapid 2:11 200m swim split. Given that there’s plenty of us who would happily swim that pace over just 100m, it gives you some context on just how speedy these supertri athletes are.

After gaining a lead in the first round, the two athletes were neck and neck throughout round 2. In the final round, the Brit extended her lead and finished on the top step – 20 seconds ahead of Beaugrand. It was a performance synonymous with Potter’s form for the 2023 season which saw her get an early qualification spot for Paris 2024.

Both Beaugrand and Potter are strong favourites to win the gold medal at the Olympics later this year. And with the cancellation of WTCS Abu Dhabi, this year’s supertri E in London may well be the first time this season to see the pair go head-to-head and get a measure of how things could play out in Paris.

From an IRONMAN World Champion blazing through the field, to a next gen superstar blasting onto the world stage. There’s been no shortage of action and drama from supertri’s virtual racing format over the years. And with just a few weeks to go until some of the world’s best battle it out in London – including debut supertri E appearances for Olympians Vicky Holland and Katie Zaferes. We can be sure that there’ll be more drama, more fireworks and more epic racing yet to unfold.

Jenny Lucas-Hill
Written by
Jenny Lucas-Hill
Jenny Lucas-Hill is a writer, content creator and communications professional. A long-distance triathlon enthusiast, she has three full Iron-distance finishes to date & also loves watching the sport.
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