Tonight, Jonathan Ng, Justin Kwan and Jonathan Tan will take the long 30-hour flight to Brazil to participate in the upcoming 12th World University Triathlon Championships on Sunday. They will be representing National University of Singapore (NUS) as well as Singapore against 100 student-athletes from 17 countries in this biennial meet.

Last September at the Cold Storage Singapore International Triathlon, which also served as the local qualifying meet, the trio were the only ones n the 15-strong field from NUS, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Singapore Management University (SMU) and the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) who met the qualifying time of 2 hours and 17 minutes. “The World University Triathlon Championships is the pinnacle of tertiary sports internationally. Each country sends their best student-athletes to the Championships, and among them have been national athletes and Olympians,” stated David Tay, head coach of the NUS Biathlon team.

Two years ago, it was France’s Andre Thomas who won the competition in Taiwan. He clocked a timing of 1:59.57, with his compatriot Felix Duchampt (2:00.25) coming in second and the Czech Republic’s Lukas Kocar (2:00.57) rounding off the top three. Jonathan Ng was able to qualify in the meet in Brazil after clocking a personal best of 2:14 at last year’s Barcelona Triathlon. However, the other two failed to qualify directly despite personal best timings, 2:18.37 for Justin and 2:18.56 for Jonathan Tan, at the Cold Storage Singapore International Triathlon. Their efforts were just outside the qualifying benchmark of 2:17. This led them to partake in a 1,500m swim-off within 23 minutes in order to qualify.

The trio from the NUS Biathlon team, who trained up to 15 hours a week for the meet, know exactly what they will be up against. “Brazil is about 1,000m above sea level, and has a lot of uneven and rocky terrains, which makes cycling especially challenging. The water temperature will also be a bit chilly,” explained Justin, the 25-year-old fourth-year engineering undergraduate. Aside from the 12th World University Triathlon Championships, the trio also target to qualify for next year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore. The triathlon event was last featured at the biennial Games back in 2007, which was won by Singapore’s Mok Ying Ren. For more of the story, you can refer here.

Swimming is one of the components in the triathlon. In this instance, it was one of the key to two of the participants’ qualification. At Happy Fish Swim School, we can help make a difference in your swimming skills. Take a look at our competitive swimming lessons if that is what you are aiming for.