Source: Super League Triathlon
Day 2 of the grand Championship Finale got off to a sky-high start with U19 Asia Championships race. An international field took to the start line representing Asia and the rest of the world. Racing the Enduro format, these talented 16-19-year-olds completed SWIM-BIKE-RUN-SWIM-BIKE-RUN with no break.
This was an unbelievable opportunity for these young stars to test themselves on the same course as the professionals and get an insight into the game-changing world of Super League Triathlon!
The tension built throughout the morning before each athlete was individually introduced as they came onto the field of play.
Local Singaporean athlete, Herlene Yu, was nervous while racking her bike, but understood the opportunity that was in front of her.
“I’m very excited. It is going to be a really brutal race, but I am going to make sure I enjoy it.”
Samir Varma, also from Singapore, had been drawn to the event because of what he’d already seen from Super League racing.
“I’ve experienced a lot more exposure because of Super League from fans and the triathlon association. The format is so different that you can’t go out there thinking it’s going to be easy. You go from the gun – it’s not for the weak!”
The women set off at 09:00 and Hong Kong athlete Bailee Brown immediately went to work. She set the pace in the swim and was first into transition. Close behind was another athlete representing Hong Kong, Cade Wright, who was closing in mainly through the run section. Wright was showing solid form and using her natural cadence to her advantage.
The battle at the front was tight, and it was a Hong Kong first, second, and third with Tallulah Wright fighting hard to hold off local athlete Herlene Yu. The crowd was going wild to get behind the Singaporean as she struggled to get onto the podium.
On the final lap of the last run, Cade Wright had reduced the gap to Brown to one second, but it was Brown who had the extra kick to hold on for the win. Brown knew Wright was a strong runner and had to dig deep to stay ahead.
“She is a good runner, so I said to myself, look Bailee you want to win this, and she will kick you at the end, so you kick early!”
Cade Wright came in second with Hong Kong completing a podium lockout with Tallulah Wright finishing third. Yu was the highest placed local athlete as she just missed the podium in fourth.
“It feels great to win the first Junior Super League race in Asia, I want to do it again next year, but maybe the elite level!” Bailee Brown
The men’s field set off at 10:30 with Jason Ng from Hong Kong leading the pack. He was in the front and set a blistering pace, going first into transition.
Looking calm and composed was second place athlete Nicholas Tsang, chasing hard through transition. It was a Hong Kong one-two going into the second round of SWIM-BIKE-RUN.
“I knew I was losing time to Jason on the second swim, then on the second bike I knew I had a pretty big gap. I tried to stay safe for most of it, still push hard, but also make sure I was safe.”
Tsang gave it his all, but Ng was too strong. Ng had time to celebrate and soak up the experience as he came down the finishing chute to take a well-earned victory in the first Asian Junior Super League race.
We had another Hong Kong podium lockout with Robin Elg placing third.
“That was pretty tough, especially the second swim, but I felt good on the run and on the bike. It was a fun race, and I’ll be back again.”
The first Singaporean to cross the line was Nicholas Rachmadi in eighth position; a strong showing for the local triathlon community indicating a bright future for the country.
Ng was ecstatic to take the victory in such an impressive fashion.
“Since the first race in Hamilton Island, I’ve watched every single one; all the live racing, all the highlights, and all the interviews. To come to an event with the pro athletes is amazing.”