Canada’s Dominika Jamnicky Wins Arena Games Bronze in Montreal

America’s Gina Sereno stormed to victory at Arena Games powered by Zwift in Montreal, Canada.

The 27-year-old, who combines triathlon with working at Nasa, was dominant throughout, winning all three stages of the indoor event in the Parc Olympique in central Montreal.

“It was a really gruelling race but having so many people in the crowd behind us cheering was awesome,” said the American, who is based in the triathlon hotspot of Boulder, Colorado.

“Having Sophie Linn in the race really pushed me as I’m used to competing with her. I’m so stoked to have won here. It’s really special.”

The Canadian city of Montreal was making its Super League Triathlon debut for the opening leg of the three-date Arena Games 2023 series, with the Parc Olympique one of the venues used when the city hosted the summer Olympic Games in 1976.

Many of the major Arena Games Triahtlon players from 2022, including the UK’s reigning champ Beth Potter, were keeping their powder dry for the following legs in Sursee, Switzerland (12 March) and London, England (8 April), making today a chance for some new superstars to emerge.

Local eyes were on Montreal’s 18-year-old Noemie Beaulieu, while former track runner Sereno was the pre-race pick of many tri pundits. Standing in Sereno’s way would be Australia’s Sophie Linn – her former track teammate at University of Michigan – fifth at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, and Canada’s Dominika Jamnicky, who finished 13th at the Commonwealths and had the bumper local support behind her.

The action commenced with a mass start 200m pool swim, before a 4km Zwift bike leg and a 1km run on an elliptical running machine. Stage 2 would reverse that order, beginning with a 1km mass start run before a 4km bike and a 200m swim. The concluding Stage 3 would open with a Pursuit Start 200m swim, before the 4km bike leg and final 1km run to crown the overall winner.


The 200m pool swim in the Parc Olympique saw Hungary’s 20-year-old Marta Kropko lead the field just ahead of Slovakia’s Zuzana Michalickova, also 20, and Aussie Sophie Linn, with a 19sec gap already separating the field.

Kropko and Linn pushed to the front of the 4km Zwift bike leg, the two inseparable but unable to benefit from the benefits of drafting on the virtual course. Linn, fifth at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, was the first into T2 with Kropko in her slipstream and run powerhouse Sereno nearly 6secs back.

Within 300m of running on the elliptical self-powered machine, Sereno had surged to the front. Her Stage 1 margin of victory would be 8secs over Linn, with Canada’s Dominika Jamnicky, 30, moving into third spot.


The next stage reversed the common triathlon order, with the 1km mass start run leg instantly being led by Sereno, the former track and cross-country runner showcasing her running pedigree. Linn was the only athlete to stay close to Sereno, who finished sixth at the Arena Games in Munich in 2022.

After a slick transition, Sereno’s lead at the start of the 4km bike leg was 5secs over Linn, and that was soon extended to 8secs as Jamnicky moved into second place ahead of the fading Linn.

Sereno’s lead was 11secs over Jamnicky at the start of the 200m pool swim, the American completely in command and maintaining her advantage over the chasers ahead of the day’s final stage. That margin would be 12secs over Linn and 16secs over Jamnicky by the end of the swim, giving the American an 18sec head start in Stage 3.


The Pursuit Start of Stage 3 saw Sereno begin the 200m swim some 18secs ahead of Linn, yet the Australian managed to take 3secs out of Sereno by the start of the 4km bike leg. Could a challenge to Sereno’s dominance be on?

The 4km bike leg, a merging of the real and virtual racing worlds, would soon eliminate the chasing pack. Only Linn had a chance, albeit slim, of breaking Sereno’s hold on the race, and the margin was still 18secs with 1km to go on the bike.

The final 1km run began with Sereno holding a 20sec advantage over Linn. By the halfway stage the win was in the bag, yet Sereno’s pace was relentless, and her winning margin was 30secs over Linn and nearly a minute over Jamnicky in third.

“Wow, what an exhilarating experience on home soil. The arena games crowd made a world of a difference. I felt the Canadian spirit. This format is unlike anything I’ve done and one of the hardest. The heats was a bit of shock to the system but I was able to come back tonight and put it all together. It’s always an honour to stand on the podium and this event will be one to remember. Kudos to all the Canadians who toed the line today. Proud to be a part of the inaugural event in Montreal,” said Jamnicky.

But it was Sereno’s day and a statement win had been created ahead of the series’ final two legs in Switzerland on March 12 and London on April 8. The countdown is on.

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