OVERCOMING CHALLENGES – Triathletes happy with placing
For triathletes Jude Irowane, William Siau, Andriana Tukuvia and Albert Kado, the 2023 Pacific Games has been a learning curve as they refocus for the 2025 Mini Games and the next Pacific Games in Tahiti.
Under Friday’s grueling hot sun, the four national triathletes managed to clock new personal bests in the triathlon Super Sprint, aquathlon individual and mixed team finals, during the final day of triathlon competitions.
Despite not being able to win medals for Team Solomon, the four athletes achievement at this Pacific Games was a reflection of the sacrifices they had to make and overcome, to represent their country.
“Half year. That’s the time I had to train for this competition. The race was tough. The heat of the sun was something else. I was also feeling the heat,” 47 year old men’s Super Sprint triathlete Albert Kado said.
Kado a former national simmer finished that event with a personal best time of 0:18:54, five minutes-eight seconds behind gold medal winner, Hugo Tormento of New Caledonia.
For 21-year-old William Siau, the 2023 Pacific Games is first and it has been a memorable one for him despite having to put his studies on hold.
“Next year I’m going back to school to complete my Form 7 studies because I had to leave school this year in order to concentrate on my training.
“I’m very happy. I’ve been looking forward for the games and to be in the squad and being able to represent Solomon Islands, I’m really happy,” Siau said.
Siau finished the competition with a personal best of 8th place in the men’s individual aquathlon finals on Friday.
Nine months out from training is a big difference in the sport of triathlon, a sport that requires three disciplines, swimming, bike riding and running.
After being out of training for nine months, 24 year old national triathlete, Andriana Tukuvia said given the okay to represent Solomon Islands was a surprise.
“I returned to full time training in October. I was sick and was admitted at the hospital for some months and then had to stay at home to care for my sick parents.
“I’m happy to represent our country at these games and to record those times, especially after the challenges I had to over come,” Tukuvia said.
Triathlon 2×2 mixed relay male teammate, 25-year-old Jude Timson Irowane recording a new personal best at this Pacific Game, itself is a huge achievement despite no medals.
“The previous Pacific Games I finished 11th but this time I manage to finish 8th overall. This is a new PB for me so I’m pretty happy with my performance,” Irowane said.
Tukuvia and Irowane also recorded a new Personal Best in the 2×2 mixed relay, finishing in fifth place behind, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Fiji and Samoa.
With the Solomon Islands now having new world class sports facilities, all four athletes said they believe it will change the sport of triathlon in the Solomon Islands.
BY TAROMANE MARTIN