The Championship (formerly known as Challenge Samorin) is one of the most anticipated Challenge Family events on the international race calendar. It’s a race that has been won by the likes of Lionel Sanders and Lucy Charles. Along with Challenge Roth, The Championship attracts a solid pro field, and will now produce a global livestream. Race coverage will be broadcasted on both Slovakian and Czech television and challenge-family.live.
This year’s race is expected to include names like Sebastian Kienle, David McNamee, Ben Kanute, Rodolphe von Berg, Pieter Heemeryck, Mauricio Méndez Cruz, Sarah Lewis, Lucy Charles, Ellie Salthouse, Daniela Bleymehl and Radka Kahlefeldt.
On the men’s side, both Kienle and Von Berg have had impressive starts to their season. On May 19th, Kienle won Challenge Heilbronn in 3:45:41. And at Ironman 70.3 St. George, Von Berg defeated an impressive field at the North American Championship.
A lot of people are curious to see how Heemeryck performs. The pro from Belgium finished 4th at The Championship in 2018 and is the current leader of the Challenge Family World Bonus ranking.
In the women’s race, Charles has shown great early season form. In April she won Ironman South Africa and followed it up with an Olympic distance win at the Volcano Triathlon in Lanzarote. Unfortunately, there will be no showdown between Anne Haug and Charles, Haug withdrew due to an injury.
Instead, Charles biggest threat may come from last year’s number three, Radka Kahlefeldt. “It was such an amazing feeling to be on the podium in Samorin, probably even more so, because I didn’t really expect it,” says Kahlefeldt. Most recently, the Czech athlete finished third at Ironman 70.3 Vietnam, behind Holly Lawrence and Sarah Crowley.
The Championship 2017 women’s podium. Photo: James MitchellOn June 2nd, the livestream will begin 30 minutes before the start of the race and will not stop until after the finish. “Live streaming the race not only highlights the remarkable pro athletes racing, but also showcases the incredible venue, in addition to the amazing atmosphere of The Championship,” says Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of Challenge Family. “As a whole and according to our experience of last year we expect hundreds of thousands watching and setting new standards in triathlon.”
Commentators of the livestream will be John Levison and Laura Siddall. Levison did the same last year, while Siddall herself is a pro athlete and ambassador of Challenge Family.