As part of the Olympic Esports Week taking place in Singapore from 23-25 June, Arena Games action hits the spotlight once more as an Exhibition Event on the three-day programme of virtual and simulated sports competition.
For the first time ever, Duathlon will feature at the OEW, with the bike and run disciplines to be completed on static trainers and self-powered treadmills, all connected to a virtual Zwift world, the athletes competing in teams.
“Being able to feature as an Exhibition Event at this year’s Olympic Esports Week is a historic moment for our sport,” said World Triathlon President and IOC Member Marisol Casado, “and one that builds on our hard work and collaboration with Super League in creating a World Championships for the Arena Games competitions over the past two seasons of our partnership. Singapore and the global Esports community is about to get a taste of the fast and furious world of virtual multisports racing, and we can’t wait to shape the future of the format further.”
Relay Format for Esports debut
Ten male and ten female Youth and Junior athletes from nine countries will compete, split evenly across Team Asia (CHN & JPN), Team Oceania (AUS & NZL), Team Europe (HUN & ITA), Team North America (USA & MEX) and Team Singapore.
Each of the four stages will have a standalone start, with the fourth being a pursuit start based on the accumulated time differences of the previous stages’ results, leaving the first over the line in the final stage the winners.
Junior Aquathlon World Champion Marton Kropko represents Hungary having previously been involved in Arena Games Triathlon action in both Sursee and London earlier this year.
Scott Latham, Team Australia coach
“The lead up to the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore has been a whirlwind, as team selections were made with only just over 2 weeks’ preparation time before the event. Coming from Australia and NZ we are well into the colder months and athlete preparation for the 2023/2024 race season is at a very early stage. Changing gears from the normal longer, low intensity training formats to build some high intensity short-paced and explosive sessions were quickly made to prepare for what is going to be a very high-intensity race format. A duathlon of 750m treadmill run, followed by a 6km watt bike ride and another 750m treadmill run will create quite the spectacle with teams of four competing against other international teams. This event will be a fantastic experience for athletes and coaching staff, providing the opportunity to build connections with other international athletes and trail a race format similar to that of the Arena Games combined with a mixed relay.”
Wes Johnson, Team USA Coach
“The US athletes are very excited for the opportunity to experience the Esports duathlon format. This is an opportunity to prepare for a possible future in the Arena Games and every chance an athlete can get to experience international racing and a new format is always a positive for their development as triathletes. They have been racing World Triathlon events all year long and the addition of this event was an exciting surprise for them. They have been working on the run straight onto the bike with top-end speed and off the bike as well. The main difference for them will be learning how to do that on a self-propelled treadmill and a watt bike. We are looking forward to the challenge and opportunity this experience will bring!”
You can watch the racing live on the event’s official YouTube page on 25 June.