Ironman Malaysia: Veterans eager

NST Online >23/2/2008

By : Shirlexia Tan

VETERANS Wong Ah Thiam and Dr Fiona Lim will carry the country’s hopes in the 2008 Malaysia Ironman competition in Langkawi today.

Ah Thiam, 34, will compete in his fifth consecutive Malaysia Ironman event while 37-year-old Dr Fiona appeared in all except the 2005 edition.

She decided to skip the 2005 edition after tsunami hit the island on Dec 26, 2004.

Apart from giving the top international athletes a run for their money, Ah Thiam and Dr Fiona voiced their intention to finish tops among the locals.

Ah Thiam, a former national cyclist, hopes to better his personal best time of 9hr 57min, which was clocked in the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in 2006.

“I have been training really hard since last year and hopefully I will be able to go down to 9hr 45min and emerge top among the locals to qualify for World Championships in Kona later this year,” he said.

“Previously, my weakest event was the run. So, I’ve been concentrating on the run and have improved a lot. Hopefully, it will work on race day,” said the Kota Baru-born athlete.

For Dr Fiona, it will be her 13th triathlon, including four world championships in Kona in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007.

This time, the Sabahan expects tough competition from her Kuala Lumpur teammate Carmen Leong in the 35-39 age group.

She is, however, not eager to compete in Kona this year. “I’ve been there four times. Let’s give the others a chance. It is not cheap to compete over there anyway. For me to have the experience of four times being there is good enough.”

The Ironman race will start at the Langkawi Jetty today with the first flag off at 7.30am for the pro athletes and the second at 7.45am for the age group participants. The event covers a distance of 3.8km (swim), 180km (cycling), and 42km (run).

~ by missjewelz on March 7, 2008.

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