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All eyes are on Lionel Sanders at the Arena Games Montreal. He might not make the live coverage

Canadian star feels he’s “in the ballpark to make the final.”

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

As the athletes prepare for tomorrow’s Super League Triathlon Arena Games Powered by Zwift Montreal, all eyes have been on Lionel Sanders. The Canadian long-distance star is hands down the biggest draw for tomorrow’s event. The question everyone is asking, though, is whether or not he can even make the final – the heats will not be part of the live coverage.

“It will take self-transcendence, for sure,” Sanders said in an interview today while he was riding his bike on the Zwift program. “I will have to go beyond what I think I am capable of. What does that look like? Sub-2:30 swim, for sure. 420 (watts) on the bike for five minutes, and probably a 2:50 run. And do that two times in a row to make the finals.”

While those numbers might seem daunting to most, they are not unrealistic based on the Canadian’s recent training efforts gearing up for the race.

“I think I can be in the ball park of making the finals,” Sanders said.

While the event might seem like a stretch for Sanders considering his long-course focus, the two-time Ironman World Championship runner-up says the experience will ultimately be helpful for him.

“I would like to get better at this,” he said. “I need to get better at this, I need to get the swim better. I need to get out of the water and on to the bike after a hard swim and bridge the gap in middle distance, and long distance. What better place to practice than right here.”

“I do everything for fun, but there’s also the motive to become a better athlete,” he said. “And what better place than to become a better athlete than with guys who have honed every piece of their game so that they can do a 10-minute event insanely fast. In reality, the best guys in middle distance have honed their game. They’ve done all that. But I can do it myself. Here I am.”

Schoeman and co. look strong

Henri Schoemann prepares for the Arena Games Montreal. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman has quietly snuck into this weekend’s race under the radar, but he could very well be the man to watch in the final tomorrow night. The South African is in much better form than he’s been over the last few years, finally over the injuries that plagued him.

France’s Aurelian Raphael will be another to keep an eye on – he’s been successful at this distance in years past.

On the distance-athletes front, Canadian Jackson Laundry will also need to push to get to the final tomorrow night.

Noemie Beaulieu enjoys home-town hero status

Noemie Beaulieu prepares for the Arena Games Montreal. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Our Canadian Junior Triathlete of the Year, Noemie Beaulieu will certainly be one of the fan favourites tomorrow as she takes on the 13-woman field here in Montreal. American Gina Sereno and two-time Canadian Commonwealth Games athletes Dominika Jamnicky are likely the favourites for the event.

The heats for tomorrow’s race start at 10 AM local time, with the finals set for 5:30 PM. Stay tuned for more coverage of the event.