Triathlon to take the stage at the 2018 Asian Games

by Courtney Akrigg/ITU Media

This year celebrates the 18th running of the Asian Games and Palembang, Indonesia is playing host. Lake Jakabaring is the stage for the triathlon competition and will be hosted across 31 August to 2 September. Both elite men and women will line up to contest across individual events as well as in the exciting mixed-relay format.

We preview a series of athlete expectations ahead of the fast and furious competition. All triathletes displayed sentiments of pride and honour, to have the opportunity to represent their country at the highly regarded Asian Games. All will strive triumph, personal bests and podium finishes. The triathlon competition will, without doubt, produce a reel of inspiring performances and career-defining moments.

Seventeen participating nations are in the mix of the triathlon competition at the Asian Games including Japan, South Korea, China Hong Kong and Macau. And Japan will headline both fields with Jumpei Furuya and Yuko Takahashi wearing number one in their respective races.

Jumpei Furuya (JPN)

How important is this race? “This is very important for me as a representative of Japan.”

How motivated are you to win? “Highest motivation as my goal is to get a gold medal in this event.”

Yuko Tkahashi (JPN)

How are you feeling leading into the race? “I am feeling good and so excited to be racing.”

How motivated are you to win? “I came here to Palembang last year also and won the race, the Asian Championships, so I will do my best.”

Yan Yin Hilda Choi (HKG)

How are you feeling about the race? “I am very excited to race because this is the big Games for Asian athletes. We are prepared to race very hard. I am going to race individual and mixed team relay. I am feeling really confident and strong.”

How has your training been? “I am so happy that I have been able to have training camps in Europe to train with good athletes. They give me inspiration on how to be tough and train well. I am very happy to have a very strong Hong Kong team to push each day and I think we can do very well in the race.”

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Who is your greatest competition?  “Definitely the Japanese but I also think Korea, China, Hong Kong and Macau are pretty close. I am confident I can do my best in the race and give it a go.”

Ahmad Alfahim (UAE)

How are you feeling leading into the race? “It’s like every race, a bit nervous at the beginning but that’s normal. I am ready, I have done my homework, I’ve worked hard for this race and I am coming here to compete.”

How is the course? “We tested the swim and bike course today and it all seems ok. A little bit tricky on the bike course, it has to be tough.”

Who are your biggest threats out there? “This is the first time that we compete on this level and at the Asian Games. I know that Korea, Japan and China are very strong. We will try and give a good competition. We are very excited to be here.”

Abdallah Abushabab (PLE)
Brothers competing together, how special is that? “We train together and race together, it’s really fun.”

How are you feeling leading into the race? “We are really excited to be part of it. We have been in a training camp in Thailand for two months training for this event and we can’t wait to toe the line.”

Omar Abushabab (PLE)

“It’s the first time our country has competed at a major Games in triathlon so it’s quite an honour.”

Brothers competing together, how special is that?  “Brothers in life, rivals on the course – that’s what we always say.”

How are you feeling leading into the race? “The hard work is done, it’s just now the fun part.”

How motivated are you to succeed this weekend? “So motivated, so so motivated.”

Aljerewi Najlaa I M (KUW)

How excited are you ahead of the Asian Games? “I am super excited and very lucky to be here and to be part of our National team and to take part in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.”

What are your expectations on the course? “The course looks really good. I am a bit concerned about the humidity and weather.”

How motivated are you to succeed? Really motivated. This is the second time to represent our country at the Asian Games and I am really looking forward to it.”

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Indonesia’s Ameera Sayaka Cakravastia‘s is looking forward to racing in a home Games.

Mohamad Alsabbagh (SYR)

How excited are you to be here at the Asian Games? “I cannot tell you. Last time I was in the Asian Games was in 2010 and I have had a really big struggle over the past eight years to come back here. We had big issues back home in Syria. It’s taken me a while to stand back up here and be ready for this race.”

How has your preparation been leading up to the race? “I have been training really well thanks to the Hong Kong team, they let me join their team. I have learnt a lot and worked hard with them and I feel like I have never been ready like this before.”

What does it mean to represent your country at this level? “It means a lot. It means that I am representing all those people that have been suffering. In each workout when I am feeling fatigued, I remember those kids who are suffering more than me and they motivate me a lot. They are the reason for me to be here today. They are the hope for me at each station, each workout. I am here to represent them for the next generation to reach their goals, there’s hope. I have been dreaming of the podium”

Liu Chen (CHN)

How are you feeling about the race? “I feel good, I am ready and strong.”

Who is your competition? “Japan is very strong and so is Korea but I am ready.”

Friday, 31 August  07:30 Elite Women Start

Saturday, 1 August 07:30 Elite Men Start

Sunday, 2 September 07:30 Mixed Team Relay Start

Distances covered
Swim: 750m x 2 laps = 1.5km
Bike: 6.7km x 6 laps = 40km
Run: 2.5km x 4 laps = 10km

Distances covered in the Mixed Team Relay by each member:
Swim: 300m
Bike : 6.7km
Run: 1.95km (1st, 2nd and 3rd Athlete) | 1.78km (4th Athlete)

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