Leaving comfort zone for triathlon

The Straits Times by LAURA CHIA

National water polo player Lee Kai Yang is used to competing in the water and having teammates spur him on in competitions.

But come Sunday, he will be competing on an unfamiliar surface in the Super League Triathlon at One 15 Marina on Sentosa.

He will be running in the Relay Enduro category, which involves a team of three people swimming 300m, cycling 4km and running 1.6km. The cycle is repeated with a change of competitor after each event.

The 24-year-old is in one of three teams comprising national athletes who are taking part in the Super League Triathlon this weekend.

Lee's teammates are two-time Olympian and two-time Asian Games swimming champion Tao Li and 2015 SEA Games netball gold medallist Charmaine Soh, who will be cycling.

The second team comprise Lee's national teammate Yip Yang (cycle) as well as floorballers Tng Zhong Wei (swim) and Vignesa Pasupathy (run).

Said four-time SEA Games gold medallist Lee: "It's definitely going to be more interesting stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new.

"The more exciting part is teaming up with other athletes like Tao Li and we're just going to do our best."

To train for the event, he runs an additional 10 minutes twice a week before his regular sessions at the gym.

While Lee still prefers training as part of a team, he said that his motivation to train for the triathlon comes from within.

"Running is a more self-motivated, individual sport and I'm still very pro-team sports. But I'm also curious to see how well I run because I don't normally run.

"So that alone is enough to motivate me to put in the time and train for it," he said.

Tao, 29, hopes to encourage Singaporeans to have a multi-sport lifestyle.

"We want to promote what most Singaporeans can do and this is not competitive so anyone can do it.

"Sport is important because it keeps you fit and healthy and one sport is kind of boring so we should do many sports.

"Hopefully when people see us do it, they will think it's fun and take part in it."

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu is running in a third team with synchronised swimmer Lee Mei Shuang (swim) and Sport Singapore foundation SportCares runner Thaslim Hajanajubudeen (cycle).