#The Inaugural Event Draws Nearly 1,000 Participants Across Diverse Age Groups, Including International Competitors from Countries such as Brazil
Seventeen-year-old Yap Qi Yi has etched his name as the emerging sensation in the multisport realm by winning the National Duathlon Championship at the Matrix Duathlon 2023 held in Bandar Sri Sendayan this past weekend.
The lanky Qi Yi, towering at 180cm, outpaced seasoned campaigner Lee Wen Jun in the men’s Sprint category, completing the 5km run, 20km cycling, and 2.5km run routines in an impressive 59 minutes and 39 seconds (59:39) — the only competitor to break the one-hour barrier.
The 25-year-old Wen Jun, who represented Malaysia at the 2019 Philippines Sea Games, crossed the finish line in 1:00:14, followed closely by Amri Ikhsaan Yazdani in third with a time of 1:00:42.
Qi Yi was on cloud nine after being crowned the national champion for the first time.
“I’m thrilled to have secured my maiden national title. The win was even more special because I successfully battled through a right leg cramp during the final 2.5km run,” said Qi Yi, who finished fourth in the National Triathlon Championship in Desaru, Johor, in July.
“The cramp occurred after I pushed myself too hard during the bike race due to numerous attacks from my fellow competitors. I tried to keep up.
“Running with cramps, I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. However, heading into the final routine in second place (behind William Chang, who eventually finished fourth), I decided to persevere.
“I took it easy at the start, and as my condition improved, I gradually increased my pace, maintaining it until the finish line. Chang experienced a similar issue, and I managed to overtake him in the process.
“This win is a morale booster for me. I eagerly anticipate evolving into one of the top national triathletes and aspire to be selected for the 2025 Sea Games in Thailand.”
In the absence of the national No. 1, Isaac Tan, due to fever, Wen Jun was initially considered the clear favourite for the race. However, Wen Jun was content with how the day unfolded for him.
It marked the second time he finished in second place after the Desaru event. Considering the limited training hours, I’m quite satisfied with this runner-up result. In fact, it’s unexpected because the competition was exceptionally strong,” said Wen Jun.
“I no longer train full-time, as I’m also juggling my daily responsibilities as a coach for a triathlon club and a bike mechanic. It’s not easy.”
The women’s title was claimed by national athlete Ng Wen May, who dominated the race with a time of 1:12:40, three minutes faster than the second-placed Ng Qiao Yi (1:15:42).
Wen May, a second-year medical student, was thrilled to make a triumphant return to the competition after a brief hiatus to focus on her studies.
“I haven’t been training much since the Cambodia Sea Games, as my priority was catching up with my studies,” said Wen May. “So, winning the national title under these circumstances was never easy. Timing-wise, I’m satisfied, but in terms of performance, I think I could have done better in my final 2.5km run.
“We must commend Matrix Concepts for organizing this wonderful event, which doubled up as the National Duathlon Championship. It was very well-organized, and the route was impressive. Hopefully, there will be more editions to come, and I have no doubt that all participants would love to return.”
The debut of the Matrix Duathlon, which was sanctioned by the Youth and Sports Ministry and Malaysia Triathlon Association, created a lasting impression during the thrilling two-day competition, attracting nearly 1,000 participants, including 40 foreigners from Australia, Austria, the United Kingdom, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Myanmar, and Brazil, across 11 categories.
The event catered to a diverse range of athletes, from budding talents under the age of 7 to seasoned veterans above the age of 50.
Joining the fray was Chief Police Officer of Negeri Sembilan, DCP Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd. Yussof, who took part in the Standard relay event. At 53, he showcased his impressive fitness level by completing the 40km cycling routine and helped his team ‘RMP State9 A’ secure a commendable fourth place.
Chief Executive Officer of Matrix Concepts Holdings Berhad, Chai Keng Wai, said sports are not just about achieving excellence in the field but also engaging in physical activities to maintain a healthy body and mind.
Through sports, we can measure endurance, efficiency, and competitive spirit that shape dynamic individuals and societies.
“Beyond the thrill of the race, we’re here to celebrate making healthier choices and building friendships. It’s not about competition, it’s about cheering each other on, supporting one another, and sharing in the joy of achieving something together,” he said during the event.
He also mentioned that the company takes pride in organizing events that go beyond the ordinary, making life better for our community.
The Matrix Duathlon reflects the company’s commitment to creating moments that bring us all closer and having a lot of fun while doing it.
“Whether you’re a pro or trying this for the first time, today is about celebrating every step and pedal, and the awesome spirit that makes our community stand out,” he said.
The event was graced by Negeri Sembilan’s Exco member YB Mustapha Nagoor, who’s the State’s Chairman of the Youth and Sports Action Committee.
He said the state government takes pride in hosting this championship for the first time.
“The hosting of this prestigious championship with participants from overseas proves that Negeri Sembilan has the capacity to provide sustainable infrastructure,” he said after officiating the prize presentation ceremony.