Triathletes from across the world were stationed out of Goa last weekend for the 4th Edition of the Goa Triathlon. Mumbai city led the pecking order with the participation of 145 triathletes, followed by Bengaluru 92 and Pune 90. Additionally there were 47 foreign triathletes. Here’s a low down of what a spectacular event it was.
The Tri Vibe
The event was organized by Enduro Sports Goa in association with COOJ mental health foundation at Bambolim Beach on Sunday February 12. There were close to 500 triathletes from India and abroad this year. It is interesting to note that the founders each enjoyed a sport and together came up with the idea of combining the three. Enduro Sports Goa is led by Elias Patel, a long distance swimmer and Radio Jockey, Ronald Fernandes, Michelle Gouveia and Joseph Rodrigues, Vice President of the Goa Cycling Association.
While the Olympic solo and team entries are a common category at tri races, the super sprint category is a unique feature of the Goa Triathlon. And with an interest in triathlons only rising each year, it is a great opportunity for aspiring triathletes to test their levels of fitness. Enduro’s vision is taking not just Goa but India’s sporting culture to higher heights. The Drishti Lifesaving Team too did brilliant job of sighting and briefing athletes about safety, security features in the open waters.
Who Aced the Race
The 20-man Indian Army team from the Army’s Triathlon Centre for Excellence in Pune caught everyone’s eye as they featured in most podium finishes. While two army triathletes came second and third in the Olympic distance men’s category, they swept all the three top positions in the super sprint category and won the Olympic distance team event.
Swiss Triathlete Pablo Erat (47) made it four-in-row as he won the 4th edition of the Goa Triathlon in a very quick time of 2 hours 7 minutes 26 seconds. Erat was closely followed by Saikhom Bishworjit of the Indian Army in 2 hrs 9 mins 52 seconds and Vishwanath Yadav also from the Indian Army in 2 hrs 11 minutes.
In the Olympic distance women’s category, Swiss triathlete Lucia Erat ( Pablo’s wife) won the first position, while Pranav Kumar of the Indian Army and Pritha Thadani finished first in the Super Sprint Men’s and Women’s category respectively, while the Indian Army trio of Sanu Saju, Dadasuo Vaybhat and Saikhom Singh finished first in the Olympic Team category.
The Goa flag was kept flying by the trio of Joao Estrocio, Serry D’Souza and Fredsan Marshall who came third in the Olympic distance team event. The event was supported by volunteers from the Indian Army, Goa Police, Goa College of Architecture and Dempo College.
Raising The Bar
Looking at the performance of the Indian army team, it is interesting to note that they were first to finish the swim leg and were left behind in the cycle leg possibly due to poor gear (this statement is only in context to the training and gear that is due to top seeded athletes in order to gauge a fair performance). The rise in women participants too shows how much the tri community and various stake holders can do to boost a gender neutral sporting spirit in the country. With tough competition and some brilliant sporting spirit witnessed, it is safe to say that the Enduro Sports Goa Triathlon will have a strong role to play in shaping a sporting nation. Their next event is a Swimathon being held at the same location on the 8th of April 2017.
LBO will soon share a follow up story with views and insights from winners and leading triathletes of the country about their experience at the Goa Triathlon. Do write in with feedback or a personal note you’d like to share about your outdoorsy journey.