The Triathle Series 2016 concluded on Sunday at the SAF Yacht Club with Singapore Sports School (SSS) students taking top honours in both the Under 17 and Above 17 categories.
Kok Kiat Xuan (right) competing in the Triathle Series 2016 at the SAF Yacht Club on 6 November 2016. Photo: Sport Singapore
Perhaps proof that the sports programmes in SSS are working well, SSS alumni Kok Kiat Xuan won the gold for the male Above 17 category and national youth team swimmer Michelle Lee took the top spot among the girls.
The Triathle Series is part of the modern pentathlon, and it is vastly different from the athletics pentathlon that most people are familiar with.
The athletics pentathlon consists of five athletics events, including the long jump and javelin throwing. The modern pentathlon, however, consists of fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, shooting and a cross-country run, thus requiring a wider array of skills and abilities.
Kok has competed in each sport separately, apart from the equestrian show jumping.
According to Kok, part of the fun in the modern pentathlon is that it requires more strategy.
“Because today there is only run and swim, so I would focus more on swimming because my run times are still not that good yet, so I would work more on the swim,” the 22-year-old said.
“Because I can get more points from that, so it would be able to compensate for my not-so-good events.”
Michelle Lee (pink cap) in acton during the Triathle Series 2016. Photo: Sport Singapore
For Michelle Lee, it was her first time participating in the modern pentathlon, and while the sport is more physically exacting, she has also found the social aspect of the modern pentathlon to be more enjoyable.
“It is more tiring because you are combining quite a number of challenging aspects together. But overall, I find it more enjoyable because I get to do it with different kinds of people,” the 17-year-old student said.
“So I’m not only with just swimmers or fencers or just runners, but with different groups of people.”
Both Lee and Kok will be representing Singapore in the ASEAN Modern Pentathlon Championships 2016 in Thailand this coming December.