Triathlete Wille Loo: Be willing to make sacrifices to achieve your goals.

In 2015, Wille Loo Chun Rong, 34, had been the only Singaporean South East Asia (Sea) Games triathlon medallist. He had won the bronze medal. But now heading into the 2017 Games in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia, he doesn’t think that this fact, will put added pressure on him.

Said Wille, a Triathlon Coach, “I don’t think there is any real carry over from having raced the last Games besides the pressure of racing in a major regional Games. The field is much smaller than some other races so tactics are a little different. We usually race the regional competitors at the various ASTC (Asian Triathlon Confederation) races in the lead up to the Sea Games so we all sort of know how each other is doing.”

Wille Loo will race for Singapore in the 2017 Sea Games.

He added, “Being the Bronze medallist from 2015 may earn me a bit of a mention when people discuss the contenders leading up to this year’s race, but there are many more prominent athletes than myself. The boys from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, I think there is much more expectation on them to do well than there is on us, the Singaporeans.”

Happy to have another shot at the Games

Nevertheless Wille is happy to have qualified for his second Sea Games competition. He said, “We didn’t have the best Games in 2015, so it was a big goal to try and qualify again and have another chance to race for the medals.”

He added, “I was satisfied with most of my performance. Tactically I think it was well executed but of course, I would have liked to have been stronger in the late stages of the race. I attacked very early on the bike and managed to build a significant gap by the time I started the run. I guess that move was a bit unexpected and might have caught the other guys by surprise.”

Together with Wille, the other male triathlete making it to the 2017 Games was Clement Chow, who also represented Singapore in 2015, and had finished in fourth position.

Experience helped

Loo feels that his experience gave him an advantage over younger competitors.

Wille thinks that his experience had put him ahead of some the younger competitors. He said, “You never know with racing, so I would not say that I would be in a good position to make the team. Some of the younger athletes would have been favoured leading into the trials, and rightly so – they had good seasons in 2016 and would have worked very hard leading up to the trials.”

Continued Wille, “But I’ve been racing triathlons for a while and I was counting on being able to use some of that experience to get a good result.”

Hasn’t considered his training

A dedicated family man, Wille hasn’t yet considered how he will be stepping up his training for the Games. He said, “I haven’t quite figured out how the Sea Games training block is going to look, but a good day – when training happens as it is supposed to – leading up to the selection trials, had involved getting a morning session in, having breakfast, walking the dogs before my wife and son wake up.”

He added, “Then its a combination of more eating, work and daddy duties for the rest of the day. Usually there is a short session in the late afternoon before I walk the dogs again and do a bit more dad stuff. After that it’s dinner, family time and hopefully to bed by midnight.”

But he will no doubt be making some adjustments to his training regime. Said Wille, “I definitely hope to be training more to be competitive in KL. About half of my training time is currently spent on the bike and the rest of it is split between running and the pool.”

Family support is important

Nevertheless he will have his family’s support throughout his training, as well as racing in the Sea Games. Said Wille, “I think my family is very proud of what I have managed to do! They knew how much I wanted to go back for another Games! Yes we are already looking at some travel arrangements.”

Continued Wille, “You definitely need to have a supportive wife, family and social network; training for a triathlon can be very time consuming and extremely selfish. Triathletes are always tired, hungry and grumpy, so being surrounded by people that not only understand but continue to encourage you, makes all of the difference.”

Wille Loo in action.

Tips for other athletes out there

What tips does Wille have for other athletes out there? He said, “It is important to be honest about your goals in the sport. Achieving that goal, is likely to require a lot of time, effort and sacrifice.”

Continued Wille, “You have to be real about what you are willing to give up to get that goal.. Nobody is going to force you to commit to something, but if you want to do it, then do it properly.”

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