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March 19, 2012

Kenyir Lake triathlon to draw more than 300


PINT-SIZED junior triathlete Yeong Yik San is one of the youngest competitors who will be competing in the eighth Kenyir Lake Interna-tional Triathlon in Terengganu on March 24 and 25.

Following an outing in the relay at the meet last year, the 12-year-old will be attempting to take up a more gruelling challenge tackling all three disciplines in the upcoming meet.

The SJKC Batu 11 Cheras pupil said he was looking forward to step up and overcome the stiffer challenges at the event.

“I have been doing well in various age-groups at local junior triathlon competitions in recent years.

“It has always been interesting to move up and compete at higher levels. I am excited about joining the pack and rubbing shoulders with the seasoned campaigners,” he added.

So far, more than 300 competitors from 17 countries have confirmed participation for the Olympic distance event comprising 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.

Besides local Malaysian entries, foreign athletes from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Britain and United States will be adding excitement to the occasion.

The previous women’s overall winner Lin Zhiyun from Singapore and the defending men’s overall champion Jason Hsieh of Hong Kong will be aiming to live up to their billing and retain the top spot in their respective categories.

The hosts are offering a total cash purse of over RM50,000 in the event that could accommodate a maximum field of 350 participants in 10 categories including the mixed and men’s relays.

They will also be revealing two surprise prizes for the participants at the event.

The four categories for men are 20 to 29 years, 30 to 39 years, 40 to 49 years and 50 years and above while the two separate sections for the fairer sex are 34 years and below as well as the 35 years and above.

Budding triathletes will be vying for honours in the sole junior Under-19 contest.

Central Terengganu Development Authority (Ketengah) deputy general manager Omar Ismail said they had also included a closed category to encourage local Terengganu residents to throw their support behind the sports tourism initiative.

“Last year, a total of 275,000 visitors visited the lake and we are confident that we could reach the 300,000 mark soon,” he said.

Omar said the annual triathlon event had also been contributing to the higher number of visitors.

“Last year, participants from 14 countries including Malaysians took part in the event. We are delighted the event has attracted participants from three new countries this year.

“We are hopeful that we could cater to more participants and expand the field beyond the current limit of 350 participants with the development of more facilities and attractions for the visitors in the future, especially with the highly anticipated Duty Free area expected to be ready in 2014,” Omar added.



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