The young triathlon and duathlon squad brought home race experience from the SEA Games 2019. (Facebook/Malaysia Triathlon Federation)

The curtain has come down for this year’s SEA Games in The Philippines and it’s time to review how our athletes fared in this latest biannual games. Being the ToughAsia people that we are, we’ll focus on a few sports that we have special affinity for: triathlon and duathlon, obstacle course racing (OCR) and marathon.

Duathlon and Triathlon

A few firsts: the sport of duathlon is re-introduced after a 12-year-hiatus, with individual and mixed team relay categories being offered. In triathlon, the mixed team relay – which is also now an Olympics sport – was also a new addition.

Historically, Malaysia was likely the first country in Southeast Asia to introduce the sport of duathlon. The run-bike-run format sport had its beginnings in 2002 with Powerman.  This Swiss brand grew over time and its Malaysia edition is today its largest event in the world, with more than 3,000 participants consistently taking part in the recent years.

Women’s duathlon at the regional games (Fiz Said)

Malaysia has its local heroes and its own duathlon communities. The sport though is still rather new in the rest of the SE Asian countries. Filipino athletes race and dominate the Powerman Malaysia races while Singapore athletes are familiar faces too, but not much is known of competitors from elsewhere.

In the Subic arena, our men finished 7th and 9th in a field of 12, our women on 8th and 9th out of 11, and the mixed team relay was 5th at the bottom of the field. Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam shared the medal spoils; unfortunately Malaysia came home empty.

The Mixed Relay was featured for the first time in Triathlon and Duathlon at the SEA Games 2019. (Fiz Said)

Aldrian Yeo finished 6th in the Men’s Triathlon. (Fiz Said)

In triathlon, the Philippines has always been known to be strong within the SE Asia. They have lots of grassroots and IRONMAN branded events in their race calendar, and their athletes take part and win in regional competitions. In Malaysia, we see the sport of triathlon growing, with IRONMAN adding a new multi-festival concept in Desaru Coast next year to complement their signature event in Langkawi.

Last week, our men finished 6th and 8th in a field of 10 and our women on 5th and 7th out of 10. The mixed team relay had a technical disqualification but were not on podium placing anyway.

Verdict: A pretty bad day in the office, with no medals in the bag, but the young squad brought a lot of experience home. With a new federation in place, hopefully they will be able to put programs in place to build coaching staff and the grassroots for the international stage over the next few years.

Muhaizar Mohammad retained his bronze medal in the Men’s Marathon at the SEA Games 2019. (FizSaid)

Marathon

In the grassroots running scene, there are lots of of marathons mushrooming all over Malaysia week in, week out. This bodes well for the sport, as well as for Malaysians looking at healthier lifestyle choices. Thus, the marathon category has been gaining more interest lately as a result of this awareness.

In 2017, Muhaizar Mohamad had Malaysia’s first medal in 44 years with his third place finish. That was the year when Singapore’s Soh Rui Yong completed his brace of SEA Games marathon gold performances. In 2019, Soh was not in the starting lineup, Indonesia’s Agus Prayogo moved up from silver to gold medal, but this year’s silver medal went to Namkhet Sanchai of Thailand. Malaysia had no representation in the women’s category.

Verdict: Quite a pretty good outing for Muhaizar. Let’s hope he can have one more better shot in the 2021 edition. And that we can finally have a women’s representative.

Saddam Pittli scored a silver and a bronze for Malaysia in Obstacle Course Racing at the SEA Games. (Instagram/Saddam Pittli)

Obstacle Course Racing (OCR)

OCR is also newly introduced in this year’s edition. So, information on the strength of the field was unknown. Perhaps, the main indicator would be the elites field of the regional Spartan race series. Nevertheless, our own spartan, Saddam Pittli did Malaysia proud with a silver and a bronze medal for the ‘Mixed Team Assist 400m X 12 Obstacles’ and the ‘Individual 5K X 20 Obstacles’ races respectively. Overall, the team reaped 3 silvers and 1 bronze.

Verdict: A very good performance. Let’s hope we can have more OCR athletes soon.

What’s next?

We’re aware that the national triathlon association that was revamped earlier this year has got plans to develop this sport further.  And that the grassroots participation for duathlon, triathlon, marathon and OCR are progressively increasingly. This bodes well for these sports, and with more races on offer, let’s hope we can unearth new talents and develop our current athletes further for the next edition of SEA Games.  Malaysia boleh!

SEA GAMES 2019 RESULTS
Triathlon Men’s – Olympic Distance
1. John Chicano PHI 01:53:26
2. Andrew Remolino PHI 01:55:03
3. Muhammad Ahlul Firman INA 01:57:10
4. Clement Chow SGP 02:00:15
5. Loo Chuan Rong SGP 02:01:35
6. Aldrian Yeo MAS 02:03:19
7. Suphakit Sukatiphum THA 02:03:40
8. Lee Wen Jun MAS 02:11:09
9. Phan Van Khoa VIE 02:17:50
10. Le Hoang Vu VIE 02:18:24
Triathlon Women’s – Olympic Distance
1. Marion Kim Mangrobang PHI 02:02:00
2. Kimberley Kilgroe PHI 02:05:02
3. Nethavanie Octaria INA 02:16:33
4. Ethel Lin ZhiYun SGP 02:18:08
5. Aimi Iwasaki MAS 02:19:29
6. Nguyen Thi Kim Tuyen VIE 02:22:07
7. Serena Yang MAS 02:25:17
8. Pham Thuy Vi VIE 02:26:44
9. Thipsuda Kamme THA 02:32:57
10. Chang Shuwen SGP 02:33:54
Triathlon Mixed Relay
1. PHI 00:01:33.47
Marion Kim Mangrobang
Fernando Jose Casares
Ma Claire Adorna
John Chicano
2. SGP 00:01:37.58
Herlene Natasha Yu
Bryce Chong
Emma Middleditch
Luke Chua
3. INA 00:01:38.57
Nethavanie Octaria
Johan Jauhari
Eva Desiana
Muhammad Ahlul Firman
4. VIE 00:01:43.51
Nguyen Thi Kim Tuyen
Lam Quang Nhat
Pham Thuy Vi
Le Hoang Vu
5. CAM 00:01:57.54
Thorn Somavattey
Neang Pichpiseth
Hou Thyda
Nang Nay
6. MAS DSQ
Yeong Zhen Yi
Edwin Thiang
Aimi Iwasaki
Chong Xian Hao

Note: MAS finished 4th but was disqualified for technical reasons.

Jason Loh and Lim Kien Mau finished 9th and 7th respectively in the Duathlon. (Fiz Said)

Duathlon Men’s – Standard Distance
1. Johan Jauhari INA 01:52:51
2. Reyes Delos PHI 01:53:04
3. Nattawut Srinate THA 01:53:05
4. Lam Wai Kit SGP 01:54:38
5. Jerwyn Banatao PHI 01:55:19
6. Arthit Soda THA 01:55:55
7. Lim Kien Mau MAS 01:56:27
8. Cao Ngoc Ha VIE 01:57:43
9. Jason Loh MAS 01:58:21
10. Foo Gen Lin SGP 02:03:18
11. Nguyen Tien Hung VIE 02:04:17
12. Kang Thoeurn CAM 02:15:06

Duathlon Women – Standard Distance
1. Monica Torres PHI 02:08:44
2. Pareeya Sonsem THA 02:11:18
3. Nguyen Thi Phuong Trinh VIE 02:14:20
4. Aoranuch Aiamtas THA 02:16:36
5. Eva Desiana INA 02:18:48
6. Jelsie Sabado PHI 02:19:17
7. Phoebe Kee SGP 02:21:59
8. Mariana Mohammad MAS 02:22:17
9. Allison Yee MAS 02:23:18
10. Mok Ying Rong SGP 02:25:23
11. Uon Chanpeaktra CAM 02:34:52

Duathlon Mixed Relay
1. THA 00:01:27.68
Pareeya Sonsem
Nattawut Srinate
Siriwan Kuncharin
Arthit Soda

2. SGP 00:01:29.36
Emma Middleditch
Ahmad Arif Ibrahim
Herlene Natasha Yu
Nicholas Rachmadi

3. PHI 00:01:20.95
Monica Torres
Efraim Iñigo
Mary Pauline Fornea
Emmanuel Comendador

4. VIE 00:01:33.33
Nguyễn Thị Phương Trinh
Cao Ngọc Hà
Nguyễn Thị Kim Tuyến
Nguyễn Tiến Hùng

5. MAS 00:01:34.38
Allison Yee
Chong Xian Hao
Yeong Zhen Yi
Muhammad Haziq Junaidy

Marathon Men’s
1. Agus Prayogo (INA) 02:26:48
2. Namkhet Sanchai (THA) 02:27:18
3. Mohamad Muhaizar (MAS) 02:33:08
4. David Welman  (INA) 02:33:47
5. Zabala Jerald (PHI) 02:37:20
6. Nerza Anthony (PHI) 02:39:28
7. Gordon Lim (SGP) 02:46:31
8. Maia Romenio De Deus (TLE) 02:50:12
9. Loh Yuting  (SGP) 02:51:44
10. Takizaki Kuniaki (CAM) 02:53:34

Marathon Women
Note: Malaysia did not have a representative
1. Christine Hallasgo (PHI) 02:56:56
2. Mary Joy Tabal (PHI) 02:58:49
3. Pham Thi Hong Le (VIE) 03:02:52
4. Linda Janthachit (THA) 03:04:41
5. Serena Teoh (SGP) 03:14:38
6. Cho Zin Mar (MYA) 03:30:38
Obstacle Course Racing 
Mixed Team Assist 400 M X 12 Obstacles 
1. PHI 00:03:48.35
KYLE ANTOLIN
SERNA DELA
MONOLITO DIVINA
DEANNE MONCADA
2. MAS 00:04:29.28
MOHD REDHA ROZLAN
MOHD SADDAM MOHD PITTLI
YIP HUI TENG
TAN JIE YI
3. INA 00:05:30.12
ADNAN BUCHARI
PAHRUL RAZI
MUDJI MULYANI
NADIA PUTR
Mixed Team Relay 400 M X 12 Obstacles
1. PHI 00:02:00.92
DIANA BUHLER
JEFFREY REGINIO
KLYMILLE RODRIGUEZ
NATHANIEL SANCHEZ
2. MAS  00:02:05.38
MOHD REDHA ROZLAN
YOONG WEI THENG
MOHD DRUS SALFARINA
TAN JIE YI
3. INA 00:02:07.24
PATUAN PULUNGAN
LASKAMAN ZALUKHU
MUDJI MULYANI
NADIA PUTR4. LAO 00:02:40.23
SOUKSANGUAN KEODUANGDEE
BOUNPHENG PHIMMASONE
SORVIMANE KHAMLA
XAYYALATH SINNKHONE
Individual 5k x 20 Obstacles – Men 
1. MERVIN GUARTE (PHI) 00:25:31.00
2. MOHAMMAD SHERWIN MANAGIL (PHI) 00:26:16.00
3. MOHD SADDAM MOHD PITTLI (MAS) 00:28:02.00
Individual 100M x 10 Obstacles – Men 
Note: Events for Gold and Bronze medal were held separately in
different heats for each, hence the difference in timing.
1. KEVIN PASCUA (PHI) 00:00:29.92
2. MOHD REDHA ROZLAN (MAS) 00:00:34.01
3. MARK RODELAS (PHI) 00:00:32.94
4. YOONG WEI THENG (MAS) 00:00:38.58
Individual 100M x 10 Obstacles – Women 
1. ROCHELLE SUAREZ (PHI) 00:00:46.70
2. MILKY TEJARES (PHI) 00:00:47.88
3. MUDJI MULYANI (INA) 00:00:54.23
4. TAN JIE YI (MAS) 00:00:56.08
Individual 5K x 20 Obstacles – Women
Note: MAS YIP HUI TENG DNF