SLT Arena Games London victory for Nicolo Strada, world title for Henri Schoeman

Henri Schoeman takes the SLT Arena Games world title (Picture: SLT)

While Nicolo Strada is the somewhat surprising winner of the SLT Arena Games in London – the Italian experienced a particularly strong day today – Henri Schoeman has crowned himself Arena Games world champion after races in Montreal, Sursee and London.

The race in London – the so-called Grand Final that was thus all-decisive for the final standings – consisted of three heats, with the swim-bike-run alternating in order each time. Each heat consisted of a 200-meter swim, a 4-kilometer bike ride and a 1-kilometer run. In the third and final heat (swim, bike, run), the men started based on the time differences created in heat 1 (swim, bike, run) and 2 (run, bike, swim).

A lot happened in the first two heats – Gustav Iden was given a penalty for example, and Chase McQueen had such a bad day that he fell way behind and even decided to swim a stretch of butterfly instead of breaststroke – but the differences at the front remained mostly small. The decisive heat was started by Nicolo Strada, who had a seven-second lead over Henri Schoeman. Kyle Smith dove into the water 20 seconds behind the leader, followed in turn by Simon Westermann, Johannes Vogel and Gustav Iden at five, six and nine seconds respectively. Fabian Meeusen, Jeremy Briand and Maxime Hueber-Moosbrugger followed at 31, 32 and 32 seconds respectively.

Strada did not let his head go crazy and only saw his lead increase during the last and decisive heat. And even though Schoeman thus lost time on Strada, his lead over Smith only increased and thus his second place did not seem to be in danger. Behind him, the battle for bronze was still wide open. Still, Smith maintained his third place in the end. The win of the day was thus for Strada, eventually followed 22 seconds by Schoeman and 30 seconds by Smith.

In the standings for the world titel, Henri Schoeman claimed victory with 713 points after races in Montreal, Sursee and London. Second place is for Nicolo Strada with 698 points and third place for Simon Westermann with 610 points.