Mariana Mohammad has been eagerly awaiting 12 years for this golden opportunity to revenge her devastating defeat at the SEA Games. In December, she will be representing Malaysia in the standard distance Duathlon event over 10km run – 40km bike – 5km run in the Philippines.
Back in 2007, when the Duathlon event was first introduced at the SEA Games in Thailand, the Sabah-born athlete was in second place chasing gold when in the bike leg, she was hit by a local motorist.
“I somehow finished the race in fifth place but I was devastated more than I was in pain,” said Mariana recalling the tragic incident.
“Cycling and Duathlon has always been my passion. My family understand completely and support me wholeheartedly,” said the mother of two.
Throughout her life, Mariana has always loved to run and cycle, so Duathlon practically fell into her lap as her ideal sport. She was racing Duathlon from 2005 until 2007 before switching to Adventure Races in 2008. From 2009 till 2014, Mariana joined the Malaysian National Cycling Team, then returned to pursue Duathlon again in 2018 until now.
In preparations for the games, Mariana has been competing in a few regional races to get into gear competitively. At the first ITU Multisport World Cup in China a month ago, Mariana finished second in the Elite category. Last week, she also competed in a Duathlon race at Tri-Factor Hua Hin in Thailand and finished first in her age group category and was also the Overall Female winner.
From her recent races, the 41-year old learnt that she still needs to improve in some areas, and stay focused during the high intensity race. Not resting on her laurels yet, Mariana will continue racing at the City60 Bike-Run Challenge in Singapore this weekend.
“I’m so lucky to have good coaches to guide me in my journey. Let’s hope things will turn out great at the coming SEA Games. And just like any other athletes … train hard and smart!” quipped Mariana.
Photos provided by Mariana Mohammad unless stated otherwise.