Top Contenders Line Up for The Championship 2024

The Challenge Family flagship event over the middle distance, The Championship, is less than a month away. More than 80 professional athletes will line up alongside over 1,600 age group athletes from 57 nations to decide Challenge Family’s ultimate accolade, Champion of The Championship, on 19 May 2024.

The men’s race is packed full of power houses with 13 of the top 50 athletes in the world toeing the line. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) returns to The Championship for the sixth time, fresh from his podium finish in the Singapore T100. To date, victory in Šamorín has eluded him with his best result a second in 2019 and in his current form, he is coming for the win. However, it will not come easily with the likes of Daniel Bækkegård (DEN), Frederic Funk (GER) and current 70.3 world champion, Rico Bogen (GER) all lining up at the x-bionic sphere® with the same goal in mind.

An athlete always guaranteed to bring interest to a race is Joe Skipper (GBR) and he joins the line up along with other top 50 ranked contenders Kacper Stępniak (POL), Antonio Benito (ESP), Jan Stratmann (GER), James Teagle (GBR), Mark Dubrick (USA) and Bart Aernouts (BEL). Plus New Zealander, Kyle Smith, who won Challenge Wānaka earlier this year and Tom Bishop (GBR) with two podiums already to his name in 2024 and who came third in the 2023 Challenge Family Pro Athlete World Bonus. Also lining up for the sixth time is local hero, Richard Varga (SLO) who’s returning for his first race of 2024 following surgery and will be looking to improve on his second place from 2022.

2023 women’s champion, India Lee (GBR), returns with the goal to successfully defend her title and continue her stellar start to the season after her win at the Miami T100. She’s joined by another former champion and follow countrywoman, Lucy Buckingham, who took the title in 2021 as well as Fenella Langridge, making up a British trio who will be hard to beat. But among those who have every intention of doing just that are Germans, Caroline Pohle and Anne Reischmann. Pohle took second behind Lee at The Championship 2023 and has started her 2024 season with a third in Valencia while the same weekend Reischmann took second in the Philippines. Pohle will have eyes on Laura Madsen (DEN), who took the win ahead of her in Valencia and another athlete to look out for is Marta Sanchez (ESP) who already has two wins to her name at Ironman South Africa and Pucon 70.3.

As well as the flagship The Championship race on Sunday 19 May, there are a number of lead-in events as triathlon for  every age and ability is celebrated. These include the Special Olympics, as well as sprint and standard  events plus a try-athlon for first timers, all taking place in the unrivalled Olympic training venue of x-bionic® sphere, just outside Bratislava in Slovakia.

Triathlon fans around the world, regardless of their location, can follow all the action live through the free The Championship Live powered by Rouvy livestream at as well as on Facebook Live @challengefamily and @challengesamorin. Live coverage starts at 8:15am CEST with the male pro start at 8:30am and females at 8:40am. For further information, visit