Unity in Diversity Team Achieves Great Wins at IRONMAN 70.3 GOA

14 athletes from Triathlon Club Colombo (TCC) went in India last weekend to take part to IRONMAN 70.3 GOA. The team was appropriately named “TCC Unity in Diversity Team” because there was representation from both women (3) and men (9), 3 Nations (Sri Lanka, Maldives and France), different age groups (22 to 47 year olds), different religions, and abilities (visually impaired athlete Khalid is part of the team).

It was an amazing experience for all athletes and Sri Lanka received great results:
Puvini Kahandawala: 1st in 18-24 age category; fastest women who qualified for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo/New Zealand;
Natali De Silva: 2nd in 18-24 age category;
Denis Crassier: 2nd in 46-49 age category and 10th overall (already placed for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo/New Zealand)
TCC Relay Team (Dini Perera, Shafraz Junaid, Jamal Hussain): 4th place overall.
Hussain Shameem: 16th in 35-39 age category qualified for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo/New Zealand, being the first Maldivian to do so.
Khalid Oshman (guided by Mithun Liyanage): 24th in 30-34 age category (normal age group). They missed the qualification for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo/New Zealand because a two unfortunate punctures during the 90KM. It would have been the first time ever in IRONMAN history that a differently-abed athlete qualified for such event.
This was Khalid’s 3rd IRONMAN70.3!

A few inspiring stories worthy of mention:

Natali had a bike accident at the beginning of her training program where she had to undergo surgery for 3 fractures at the orbital bone. However, she did not give up and came back for hard training to catch up the 3 weeks recovery break, showcasing a real warrior spirit.

Shifan after participating in the running event at 2019 IRONMAN70.3 COLOMBO relay, decided to register for IRONMAN 70.3 GOA. What was surprising is that he was not able to swim more than 50M at a stretch and was a beginner in cycling prior to the event. After rigorous training during the past few months he succeeded to swim 2KM, to overcome his sea swim phobia and to cycle! Unfortunately after a long fight against elements (strong currents) he was disqualified. It’s no surprise that it was tough swim as the 6 times IRONMAN World Champion Natasha Badmann told us that this was one of the top 5 toughest swims she had in all her career. One could imagine Shifan’s frustration after all the sacrifices he made to make his race a success, yet he never failed as his optimism and undying spirit is already looking forward to another IRONMAN 70.3! 

Such are the stories of true iron men and women who conquered their own battles and pushed their limits to truly experience what it is to be human. Stay tuned for more events organized in the triathlon space such as: http://www.ceyendurance.com/

Interested in ultra endurance running? Registrations for Ultra X Sri Lanka 2020 are now open at: https://ultra-x.co/

OXYPURA (the World of Hayley’s): leader active carbon face masks
Endurance Lab: multi/endurance sports coaching platform
Allianz: travel and bikes insurance
Yarn Clothing: sports textiles
Rainbow Swimming Academy
Tandem Vision: provision of tandem bike to Khalid and Mithun
Workout.lk: communications partner

Article contributed by Denis Crassier (2019 Silver IRONMAN All World Athlete, Founding Member of Triathlon Club Colombo and Co- Founder of Endurance Lab)