Isaac Tan and Esther Joy Hong Li Chen stood head and shoulders above the rest as they were crowned national men’s and women’s champions at the highly successful NX113 Triathlon Desaru on Sunday.

Isaac, 18, who represented the country at last year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games, overcame his closest rival, Lee Wen Jun, by more than two minutes, finishing the sprint race (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) in one hour, two minutes and 17 seconds (1:02:17sec).

Isaac took 0:09:44 to complete the swimming leg and 0:32:08 and 0:19.39 in the cycling and running legs, respectively.

Runner-up Wen Jun, 25, completed his race in 1:04:55, followed by Amri Ikhsaan Yazdani, 16, in 1:05:53.

Understandably, Issac was delighted with his achievement of winning the national title.
“I am happy with this achievement. It would have been better if I had recorded a new personal-best mark,” said Issac, whose PB is 57:55.

“However, I am still satisfied as the Desaru event is challenging, especially the choppy waters and hilly terrains.

“As a triathlete, I must continue improving, especially my running pace. I believe I can push harder as long I challenge myself and train harder. Triathlon is something I love. I believe I can excel in.

“With this win, I hope to be picked regularly to represent Malaysia in international competitions. It is my ambition to contribute and make the country proud.”

Meanwhile, it was a battle between two sisters in the women’s sprint event.

Esther, 20, crossed the finish line first in 1:10:44, ahead of her sister Sara Joy Hong Mae Chen, 21, who finished in 1:12:34. Teo Sze Hui completed the podium in 1:12:40.

Meanwhile, Singapore Luka Chua (1:00:44) and Louisa Middleditch (1:09:42) topped the men’s and women’s elite sprint events.

Foreign triathletes dominated the 113 Triathlon event (2km swim, 90km bike and 21km run) as well.

Singapore’s Ben Khoo (4:29:11) won the men’s crown, while Long Hoi of Macau (4:50:10) finished first in the women’s event.

In a show of support from the Johor government, the State Tourism, Environment, Heritage, and Culture Committee Chairman, YB K. Raven Kumar, was present to officiate and flag off the event.

Raven attended the event on behalf of Menteri Besar YAB Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.
NX113 Triathlon Desaru race director Andy Foo said it was the most exciting and competitive edition.

“As organisers, we are happy to see triathletes trying hard and performing above their abilities in their respective categories. It is what we want, and it illustrates the quality of NX113 Triathlon Desaru,” said Andy.

“However, it was no surprise considering that NX113 Triathlon Desaru doubled up as the national championships for the first time, while foreign triathletes were here to earn world ranking points.”

Malaysia Triathlon president Tony Tan said: “NX113 did a tremendous job organising the national championships.

“Overall, the technical officials, volunteers, enforcement officers, bomba and traffic police did a fantastic job supporting NX113 Triathlon Desaru.

“We hope the NX113 Triathlon Desaru will be the permanent home of the national championships.23

- Advertisement -