Kathmandu: The 70.3 triathlon race was held in Langkawi, Malaysia on October 26 and Mr. Alok Khatri from Nepal became the first Ironman finisher. He finished the race in 6 hours 44 minutes and 49 seconds in the competition held in Malaysia.
Ironman event is considered as one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world, long-distance triathlon consisting of a 1.9 km ocean swim, 90 km cycling, and 21.1 km run. Every year thousands of participants from around the world take part in the Ironman Races and this year athletes from 70 different countries participated in the event. It was first Nepal’s participation.
These races are more popular in cities that are close to the oceans, open waters and have good road biking facilities. Khatri was coached by Kaustabh Radkar, who is 24-time Ironman Finisher from India and Sudip Rajbhandari, an Elite National Swimmer.
The Ironman race was initiated in 1978 when US Naval Commander John Collins and his wife issued The Ironman Challenge for 15 participating competitors in Hawai, USA. Since then it has become a global movement of pushing Human Barriers with the theme ‘Anything is Possible’.
According to Rajbhandari, Alok could not even swim 25 meters on the first day when he first approached the coach for training. “I was shocked because he approached me saying he wanted to compete in Ironman, one of the hardest one-day sporting events. After a few days of training, I saw potential in him as he was very hard working. So I decided to train him even as the event was just six months away,”- said Rajbhandari. Speaking about Khatri’s achievement Coach Radkar said that he was happy about Khatri’s achievement in the tough Ironman 70.3 triathlon race.
He plans to continue participating in the race event in the years to come with the goal of achieving the World Championship Slot. “It was my childhood dream to be an athlete, I started training because I wanted to pose myself a challenge that would feel farfetched. Ironman to me seemed like a perfect fit so I trained for it relentlessly, my trainings lasted from two to six hours a day for one and a half year”- said Khatri.
Source: The Republica