If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again – This old adage rings loud and true for Aimi Iwasaki as she qualified for two events in Triathlon at the SEA Games for the first time in history.
Triathlon will have two medals – Individual Olympic Distance and a new event in the Super Sprint Mixed Relay – both of which the Penang-born lass of mixed Japanese and Malaysian parentage will contest in the Philippines next week. Plus, she will be on standby as a reserve for another two duathlon – cycling and running events.
Failing to make it to her first SEA Games in 2017 when she qualified through cycling as she suffered an injury, Aimi took a break to recover and bounced back stronger. However, Aimi took a different route by adding two more sports – running and swimming, to qualify in Triathlon instead.
Getting it right this time, Aimi has managed her preparations better by perfecting her mistakes and failures from past experiences. She has been under the tutelage of Rupert Chen who has been coaching the elites and national team. More importantly, Aimi has gained mental strength to overcome the challenges and improve relationships with the people around her.
“Besides making sacrifices, I need to be disciplined and well-focused on the goal despite the pressure. I’ve learned to find joy amidst the struggle and put extra focus on bonding time with the team and as we improve together, ” said Aimi.
It has been tricky for Aimi who has to train for two different distances in triathlon, which requires different strengths and strategies. However, she has been keeping the faith and believing in the guidance from the coaches, to perform well in both the Olympic distance race and the super sprint which requires explosive speed, and strong bond within the relay team.
In her preparations towards the regional games, Aimi raced at the Singapore National Championships for Triathlon and won second place in her category. She has thus come far, since she started swimming at the age of 10, ventured into cycling under the Malacca state team and progressed to the national cycling team and the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) concurrently.
The 24-year-old will be banking on her guidance and lessons learned from her very first cycling coach to her family whom have influenced her sporting journey, to give her utmost best and fight till the very end in her races next week.