SINGAPORE - National triathletes Wille Loo Chuan Rong, Clement Chow, Winona Howe and Denise Chia have qualified for August's SEA Games after they were the top finishers of the Triathlon Association of Singapore (TAS) selection race on Saturday (Jan 14) along East Coast Park.
In the men's race, Chow clocked 2hr 3sec, ahead of Loo (2:00:07), while Howe finished first in the women's category in 2:14:24, ahead of Chia (2:15:15).
The top two male and female finishers respectively will be nominated by the TAS to the Singapore National Olympic Council for approval to be selected for the Kuala Lumpur Games.
Both Loo, 33, and Chow, 28, also featured at the previous edition in Singapore in 2015. Loo earned Singapore's only medal in the sport by bagging a bronze, while Chow finished fourth in the race comprising a 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
Despite having to juggle his work and his training sessions, Chow, who is self-coached and an auditor at Deloitte Singapore, said that he is aiming for a podium finish in Malaysia.
He said: "It was tough to finish fourth at the last Games. I felt like I still had unfinished business and I could not allow my new work and job to be my excuse to stop me from trying to win a medal at the SEA Games.
"Now that I have qualified, I'm going to put everything into preparing well for the Games, and stop missing my workouts."
It will also be Howe's second time participating at the SEA Games. In 2015, Howe failed to finish the race because she suffered a crash midway during the bike leg, and she was then lapped by eventual gold medallist Maria Claire Adorna of the Philippines.
Youth Olympic Games 2014 triathlete Chia, 20, will be making her SEA Games debut.
Chia, who has been training full-time while waiting to enrol in university, expects that it would be a challenge having to train while studying after next month. She will study medicine at the University of Newcastle in Australia.
She said: "I'm very happy and honoured to qualify. I'm looking forward to it but I'm expecting some challenges as I'm starting school in Australia next month, so I need to settle in and adapt my training, as well as to study."
Howe, who is now training in Perth after being based in China for more than a year, felt that she has improved on her bike leg.
The 22-year-old is gunning for a medal. She said: "I felt that I made too many mistakes the previous time I took part in the SEA Games. I could have won a medal but it ended in disappointment.
"I'm going to work more on my skills and tactics and I'll be better prepared for this year."