Triathlon: Commonwealth Games beckon for burgeoning Phoebe

Triathlete Phoebe Kee underlined her growing credentials with a nomination to participate in next April's Commonwealth Games.
Triathlete Phoebe Kee underlined her growing credentials with a nomination to participate in next April's Commonwealth Games.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

It has been a bountiful and rewarding year for Singapore triathlete Phoebe Kee.

The 17-year-old had won multiple races at the A Division school level, before finishing a laudable fifth place at the Junior Asian Cup in the Philippines in April. Four months later, she was crowned champion in the TRI-Factor Triathlon sprint category.

Yesterday at East Coast Park, the Victoria Junior College student received her most treasured prize yet - a nomination to participate in next April's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia.

This comes after she completed the National Triathlon Championships (750m swim, 18km cycle and 5km run) in 1hr 13min 29sec, behind women's category winner and fellow nominee Ethel Lin (1:12:37). Chang Shuwen (1:18:43) was third.

"I'm really honoured," said Phoebe on her nomination.

"I'm excited for the Games and it's going to be a great learning experience to race against the top athletes in the world."

However, she was critical of her performance yesterday.

While she was satisfied with her swimming leg, a poor cycling leg left her more than two minutes behind 2015 SEA Games representative Lin when she eventually began her run.

She attributed it to a lack of experience on when she had to be aggressive during the race.

Yet, for someone who only started in the sport in 2014, Phoebe - who trains with the Fabian Williams Coaching Concepts club - has already made swift progress since switching from basketball.

"I wasn't very aggressive on the (basketball) court. I didn't enjoy the contact part of it," said the 1.74m former centre for the Singapore Chinese Girls' School.

She credits her father Teck Sing, an avid triathlete, as a major influence.

The 47-year-old car dealer's participation in three Ironman Triathlons had inspired Phoebe, who thought that "the road bikes were fancy and it was cool".

In the men's category, runner-up Zacharias Low (1:02:08) also earned the Commonwealth Games nomination after he finished behind Bryce Chong (1:01:35), who had already been selected.

Nicholas Rachmadi (1:02:18) was third.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2017, with the headline 'Commonwealth Games beckon for burgeoning Phoebe'. Print Edition | Subscribe