Mathias medals in Sursee


Olivia Mathias claimed silver on her Arena Games Triathlon debut as the Commonwealth Games medallist raced in the virtual triathlon world for the first time, along with fellow Brits James Chantler-Mayne and Hamish Reilly.

Mathias and Chantler-Mayne both progressed from the heats to the evening’s finals in Sursee, Switzerland, the second of the three events in this year’s Arena Games Triathlon Series, powered by Zwift.

In the three-stage event, athletes completed an eight-length 200m swim in a 25m pool, a 4km Zwift bike leg and a 1km run on an elliptical running machine as this unique Super League Triathlon format blends real-life and virtual reality.

The first stage started with the swim and Mathias was first out of the pool in the women’s final, closely followed by Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer. Mathias ended stage one in second place, 10 seconds behind Bragmayer.

The format saw athletes start stage two on the running machines for the run, followed by the bike and then the swim, with Mathias showing her resilience and strength in the pool to gain places on the final leg.

The pursuit start of the third and final stage saw Mathias enter the pool third, one second behind 15-year-old Fanni Szalai of Hungary, with the pair locked in a battle throughout the final stage.

It was a battle for the remaining podium spots behind Bragmayer, who started the final stage with a 30-second advantage.

Mathias posted the fastest time of all 10 athletes in the final stage to secure second spot and silver ahead of the fast-running Szalai with Bragmayer claiming the race win and Szalai bronze.

“I don’t know how I scraped that, honestly, I thought I was a goner in race two, that was so hard,” Mathias said. “I was just thinking ‘just hang on, Liv’. Honestly, I have never done anything like it. It’s the hardest thing ever. I know it’s only March, and it’s the first race in the season so it was always going to be a shock to the system, but I didn’t expect it to be that much of a shock to be honest.”

In the men’s final, Chantler-Mayne finished 10th during his first taste of Arena Games Triathlon having progressed through to the final with a fifth-place finish in his heat. It was also a debut over this format for Reilly who finished eighth in heat two.

The next stop for the Arena Games is London on Saturday 8 April when this year’s world esport triathlon champions will be crowned at the London Aquatics Centre.

(Image: Super League Triathlon)

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