Male and female teams of the Saudi Triathlon Federation taking part in various running and cycling exercises in Abha. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah) Six male and four female triathletes were put through their paces at a special 21-day training in Abha in May
ABHA: For the 10 Saudi athletes specially chosen to take part in a three-week triathlon training event, endurance is the key to success in a sporting challenge that few of their compatriots have ever attempted.
The first-ever training camp organized by the Saudi Triathlon Federation took place from May 8 to 27 in Abha, the capital city of Asir Province, with the aim of improving the conditioning and fitness levels of the six male and four female triathletes, as well as building a strong team spirit among them.
In a triathlon, a multi-sport event that is still in its infancy in the Kingdom, the participants must swim, cycle and run set distances with no break in between. The athlete who completes the three stages in the fastest combined time is the winner and so the transitions between the disciplines — in which the competitors must quickly switch from swimming to cycling, and from cycling to running — are a unique element of the sport.
The camp in Abha was supervised by three coaches: one Saudi and two foreigners. In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Ahmad Hafiz, a federation coach with five years of experience in the sport, explained the criteria based on which the team members were selected.
“We pick […]