Second Wind Academy athletes won the four top titles up for grabs at the Trifactor Aquarun Challenge, taking home gold for the men’s and women’s standard and sprint distance races.

Bryce Chong led from start to finish for the 1km swim / 10km run / 0.5km swim standard distance race. He clocked splits of 16:13, 40:33, and 9:20 respectively to finish with a time of 1:06:43. Compatriot Zacharias Low came out of water of the same time as Chong, but could not pull of a run as quick. He eventually finished runner-up with a time of 01:09:04. Cedric Chua, who started in a separate wave, narrowly missed out on a podium finish. His timing of 1:12:01 was just slightly over a minute off the podium.

Chua, whose strongest leg is the run, commented in his Instagram post after the race, “Had to be content with fourth this morning, considering there was lots of swimming to do this time. Trifactor series has mixed up race formats which is something different and a load of fun (and pain).”

Christy Jeremia had no such problem, nor pain, as she dominated the women’s race – she cruised to a time of 01:14:54, the eighth fastest in the entire field and more than six minutes ahead of her closest rival.

In the men’s sprint distance race, it was another 1-2 finish for the team . Nicholas Rachmadi got the better of Aaron Kiss this time round in a matchup to behold for years to come. Both were neck-to-neck through the first swim leg and after the first transition, but Rachmadi proved the day was his when he built a 40s lead over the 5km run and put himself in pole position by the start of the final 500m swim leg. He eventually finished the race in 38:10, with Kiss 36s behind.

Phoebe Kee rounded off a day to remember for the academy by winning the women’s sprint distance race. The A division national schools cross country champion used the day’s third fastest run (this includes the mens’ timings), 19:57 over 5km, to pull away from the rest of the field. This after coming out of first leg of swim in third spot. Her finishing time of 45:56 is also the fifth fastest of the day overall.

The academy’s Ironman package ambassadors Jonathan Ma and Victor Liew were also part of the action.

Ma secured fourth position in the 2km category in the concurrently held Trifactor swim. Despite missing out on the podium, which featured two SEA Games open water swimmers, he was happy with his 37:23 effort, having worked on his stroke since last month’s swim analysis clinic.

“The swim was challenging but fun, and I am pleased with my effort for the day,” he commented.

Liew, a newcomer to the sport, had other thoughts on his race. “Conclusion: I need to lose weight,” he posted on social media after the race. He did, however, walk away with newfound confidence in the sport.

Coach Eugene Lee commended the performance by the team but also wanted everyone to remain focused, “(It is) always great to start the season well. However we are consistently looking for that extra 1% improvement as we embark on racing on the regional circuit from end April.”

These races include ASTC Subic Bay for squad on the ITU programme and Desaru 113 for the guys on the Ironman package.